Atlas Law Firm

Minnesota Bankruptcy Lawyer Options


If you are considering Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy protection, you have a number of options in hiring a lawyer. There are a number of large bankruptcy law firms in Minnesota that file dozens if not hundreds of bankruptcy cases each month. One of my first jobs in the legal industry was working for one of these large bankruptcy law firms. When I created Atlas Law Firm, I wanted to take the best parts of the large law firm’s legal practice and improve on the weaknesses that I felt were inherent in the large bankruptcy law firm practice.

You’ve likely seen the commercials for the big 3 bankruptcy law firms in Minneapolis/ St. Paul:

  • Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik
  • Prescott & Pearson
  • Walker & Walker Law Office

 

There are a number of other law firms specializing in bankruptcy, but Hoglund Law Firm, Prescott & Pearson and Walker & Walker handle a large percentage of the case filings each month in Minnesota. There are 3 reasons why hiring Atlas Law Firm will result in a better experience for you if you are considering bankruptcy:

    • 1. Your Case is handled by an attorney from the Free Consultation to the court order freeing you from debt.

At Atlas Law Firm, your case is handled by me from the beginning until the end. The problem with the large law firm’s process is that in order to increase profits, they compartmentalize the various steps of the bankruptcy case and much of the process is handled by assistants who are not licensed to practice law and not knowledgeable of the bankruptcy code.

When I worked for one of the big bankruptcy law firms, as a lawyer my job was exclusively to meet with potential clients. I did not prepare the bankruptcy petition, I did not review documents, and most often I did not communicate with the client after they had hired the law firm to handle their bankruptcy. Because you must be a licensed lawyer to offer legal advice, the law firm used its lawyers to meet with people to advise them of their bankruptcy options and have them retain the law firm. Then the case was handled by assistants: who reviewed the client’s documents, prepared the bankruptcy petition and answered questions the client may have had. If the client had a legal question, a message would be taken and the call routed to a lawyer to answer (that lawyer may or may not have been the lawyer the client originally met with).

Also, when the client went to the 341 hearing (aka the meeting of creditors) the lawyer sent to represent them at the hearing was rarely the lawyer they originally met with. The lawyer at the 341 would be scheduled to attend based on their schedule for that particular day. Because of this, the lawyer at the 341 hearing was not familiar with the client’s situation or case. Additionally, because the large law firm files so many cases, the lawyer at the 341 hearing likely was representing 4-5 clients that particular day and didn’t have much time to devote to each client should they have specific questions about their case.

When you schedule a free consultation at Atlas Law Firm, you meet with me. If you retain Atlas Law Firm to handle your bankruptcy a file is opened and it is handled by me: questions are answered by me, documents are reviewed by me, your petition and schedules are drafted by me, and I represent you at your 341 hearing. I see you case through to its successful completion.

    • 2. At Atlas Law Firm, we charge less for bankruptcy filing.

By being a small law firm, we have less overhead expenses: less staff to pay for, less lease expense, less advertising expense. Because of this, we can operate less expensively and pass those savings onto our clients. At Atlas Law Firm, our attorney fees for a chapter 7 bankruptcy start at $899. That cannot be said at Hoglund Law Firm or Walker & Walker. In fact, we’re so confident that our fees are lower than our competitors, we post our fee schedule on our website. No other Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer does that, not Prescott & Pearson, not Walker & Walker, no one else.

When I worked for one of the largest bankruptcy law firms in Minnesota, I was continually being asked to get my fees up. Because as the lawyer meeting with potential clients, I was the person quoting the fee. I had a list of various items with dollar amounts next to them and I was expected to charge for each item that applied to that case – even though the work was being done by a legal assistant getting paid a relatively low hourly wage.

  • 3. At Atlas Law Firm, we place an emphasis on communication with our clients.

The biggest change I wanted to make when I created Atlas Law Firm, was to ensure that the client came first. A big part of that is ensuring the lines of communication are open: calls and emails are returned, questions are answered, the law is explained, etc.

When training as a young lawyer at the big firm, I was expected to spend no more than 45 minutes with a potential client during the free consultation – preferably 30 minutes. Again, this was to increase profits. The less time I spent getting the potential client to retain the law firm, the more potential clients I could fit into my day. As you may expect, this meant that I had to fly through my questions to analyze the potential client’s situation. If the potential client had questions I rushed through an answer and gave them a card to call the law firm with any further questions, then onto the next potential client.

The decision to file bankruptcy is a difficult one. If you have taken time out of your day to meet with a bankruptcy lawyer, you deserve to have someone to take the time not only to analyze your situation, but also to take the time to answer your questions. When you hire Atlas Law Firm, we have a duty to you to keep you apprised of your case and answer your questions in a timely fashion. You can see how much our clients appreciate our service. Search “Atlas Law Firm reviews.” Then search reviews for Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik; Prescott & Pearson; and Walker & Walker Law Office and see the difference.

So, when you hire Atlas Law Firm:

  • 1. you get a lawyer to handle your case – instead of a team of assistants handling hundreds of cases;
  • 2. we’re cheaper; and
  • 3. our clients like us more.

If you’re considering bankruptcy, what are you waiting for? Call or email us today.

Michael Sheridan, Esq.

I am proud to offer each and every prospective client a free consultation. Contact us to learn how to resolve your debt problems!