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by John G. Merna, Esq.

After years of practicing bankruptcy law, being president of this bankruptcy bar association, and going to a bankruptcy seminar here and there, it always surprises me when I ask a colleague this question.  “Why do clients come to you?” Inevitably, the answer is for “financial advice” or “to file bankruptcy”. I disagree.

People in a financial mess and considering filing bankruptcy really come to a bankruptcy attorney to “recover” from their situation.  A bad bankruptcy lawyer will say “just file bankruptcy”.  A good bankruptcy attorney will say “let’s look at your financial situation to maximize the financial advantages of filing a bankruptcy.  A great bankruptcy attorney says “You’re doing two things with us.  We are going to file a bankruptcy with consideration of maximizing any financial advantage that may exist and we are going to put you on the road to recovery with some credit recovery guidance.”


It is always difficult to explain to clients call and says “I found an attorney that is cheap. Why should I look any further?” The best answer I have been able to come up with is this, “if your bankruptcy lawyer does not realize that credit recovery is your true goal and does not provide information and guidance on credit recovery, then no matter what you are paying… you are over paying.”

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Many people in their ignorance overpay for a cheap bankruptcy. Sounds like a paradox. Because of their ignorance and narrow focus (on price) they end up struggling for years to recover their credit and end up paying $1000’s in high interest rates due to their continued poor access to credit.  Often their bankruptcy is rushed, creditors continue to hound them, but most tragic is their have no idea about how to move on. So saving a couple of $100 dollars results in costing them 10’s of $10,000’s in the coming years.

So whose fault is it? Well, it is the client’s fault for having a narrow focus.  However, it is the bankruptcy lawyers fault also for looking at their profession and their service to the client so narrowly.

Here are some general rules to live by when choosing a great bankruptcy lawyer.

  • Cost is not = to quality.
  • Cheap is not better.
  • Eliminating debt is not your goal.
  • Recovery is priceless. Check out Merna Law’s  Accelerated Credit Recovery Program.
  • Bankruptcy advice without recovery guidance is like racking up bills you can’t pay. Remember that is what brought to a bankruptcy attorney to begin with.
  • Invest in the right bankruptcy attorney.

These things will bring rich rewards in your future. Make financial and credit recovery your mission when looking  for a bankruptcy attorney.  Find one that will partner with you to get you on the road to recovery.  An attorney providing recovery help is worth tens of thousands of dollars which is what you will save on interest if you recover quickly.

Oh, and if you meet with a bankruptcy attorney that charges you nothing to file a bankruptcy and offers no guidance, program or education on credit recovery tell him “sorry, no matter how low your price you are overcharging me if you don’t help me with a program on credit recovery.”

Take control of your bright financial tomorrow now by making good financial decisions today.




 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. …very helpful and friendly!5 Stars! “Everyone at the office was very helpful and friendly. The attorney answered all of our questions and helped us through the entire process. He was also very helpful answering concerns that we had after the process was completed/over. Highly recommended!” Reviewed by M.E. of Virginia Beach on Mar 11 . 
 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. …debt free!5 Stars! “A friendly staff and outstanding attorney who helped me through a difficult time in my life. Thanks to everyone at the Merna Law Group who helped me move on to and new chapter in my life debt free!” Reviewed by M.F. of Norfolk on Mar 8 . 
 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. …overall experience was outstanding!5 Stars! “My husband and I were very happy with The Merna Law Firm. They are well organized, time manageable, and friendly. I was even able to bring my children with me if I needed to. In court, they stayed right there beside us and answered all questions we had. Our overall experience was outstanding and I am glad we were represented by the Merna Law Group.” Reviewed by A.M. of Suffolk on Mar 5 . 
 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. Didn’t have to worry about anything!5 Stars! “Just keep providing the type of service you do. You business values are based off reliability and service. Today’s Law Offices just don’t offer that kind of experience. Didn’t have to worry about anything!!! Just being able to go on with my normal life and know that all my issues are well taken care of is a relief in itself.” Reviewed by A.P. of Virginia Beach on Mar 4 . 
 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. …kind and friendly from the start!5 Stars! “Everyone there was kind and friendly from the start and helped us with everything in a timely manner. They were never rude no matter how much we called or asked questions.” Reviewed by B.P. of Virginia Beach on Feb 20 .