Bankruptcy Attorney TV Ads

It seems as though nowadays everything is about flashiness and gimmicks. Businesses in almost every industry feel they have to produce flashy, attention-grabbing ads in order to drum up business. This phenomenon has even extended to law practice, with many lawyers producing television ads in order to attract clients. Odds are, you have seen these ads, and if you are currently looking for a bankruptcy attorney to guide you through the process of claiming personal or business bankruptcy, these ads are probably really standing out to you. If you are like most people, you are on the fence about these ads: on one hand, it’s nice to obtain information on an attorney without having to leave your living room, and it might be tempting to end your search here. On the other hand, you are probably questioning the credibility of a bankruptcy attorney who chooses to advertise his services in a television ad overwrought with over-the-top drama, rather than building a reputation by word of mouth. So what should you do? Can you trust an attorney that advertises on television, or is it simply too good to be true?

The simple answer is there is no simple answer. Some really good bankruptcy attorneys will choose to boost their presence and client base by advertising on TV. Some really terrible, bankruptcy attorneys advertise on television as a way to scam vulnerable people into employing their services, because they know their reputation will never be enough to draw in new business. The only way to determine an attorney’s credibility is to look beyond his or her TV ad and seek out information elsewhere. If you see an attorney on television who looks like they might have the services you are looking for, your first step should be a pretty simple one: do an online search for him or her. You should be able to find reviews from past clients or, worst case scenario, articles exposing a scam or malpractice. Be wary of the source of these online reviews (some businesses give themselves positive reviews on consumer review websites), and remember that this is just a first step in your investigative process. Online reviews are a great place to start, and they can save you time by exposing a scam right away, but in general they’re not enough to paint a complete picture. You will still want to do a little further research.

If you are filing for business bankruptcy, you will probably have some contacts in the business world that might be familiar with the bankruptcy attorney you are considering. Talk to your accountant, other types of lawyer you’ve worked with, and peers in your industry to see if they have dealt with that particular bankruptcy attorney, or they have heard any positive or negative reviews of him or her. Often this is where your most honest information will come from. A friend in your own industry won’t have much to gain or lose from if you are at the point of filing for bankruptcy, so they will likely have no reason to be dishonest or misleading with you. Still, be sure to only consult with people you trust, both on a personal level as well as on a professional level. Don’t take the advice of someone who allowed their bankruptcy process to go roughly because they made a hasty or ill-informed decision when it came to selecting an attorney to oversee the process. Don’t take the advice of someone in your industry who you are not personally close with and who might be a direct rival. Some people are comfortable with sabotaging others, so unless you know someone well enough to trust them, and have been able to trust them in the past, don’t bother asking their opinion.

Looking at television ads to help you find a bankruptcy attorney can be a reasonable place to start, as long as your research doesn’t end there. Gathering information from a lawyer’s TV ad should simply be a first step, and should be followed up by gathering information from several other sources, including client reviews, information from local business bureaus, and advice from industry peers and business associates. You can never be too careful, especially when dealing with such a delicate situation, so do yourself a favor and arm yourself with knowledge!

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