Owing money to someone is never a good experience. You feel uneasy until you pay them back. However, things worsen when you receive a debt collection letter in the mail. The worst happens when you are being sued for not being able to make the payments.
If a debt collection agency is suing you, the best thing you can do to protect your rights is to hire a Chicago debt defense lawyer. While a lawyer cannot automatically solve your financial issues and abolish the debt, they can protect your rights. For example, they can see to it that the other party does not violate any laws during the debt collection process.
You must act quickly
When you have been served with the legal papers, there is no more time to think. Do not consider speaking with the collector as it is already too late. You probably won’t succeed in convincing them to withdraw the case and only waste your time. As soon as you receive the letter, you must act quickly and get a lawyer. While finding a good lawyer in Chicago whom you can trust can be difficult, the quicker you start your search, the better.
Do you research
Do not hire the first attorney you get recommended or the first name that pops up on Google when you search for attorneys near you. Every attorney is different from the other, and you want to ensure you hire someone who understands your case, has years of experience and is qualified enough. Follow these steps.
- Search online directories
- Request referrals from other attorneys
- Request referrals from family and friends
- Contact a legal aid organization
Consider the attorney fees
No matter how good the attorney might be, if their fee is way over your budget, you should not consider it. You are already in debt; you do not want to collect more. At the same time, you should not settle for a poor lawyer just because they are affordable. Try to maintain a balance between affordability and quality both.
How an attorney charges the fees can also affect people. You will likely have one or more of these options to choose from.
- By the hour, but not more than the lawsuit is worth.
- A flat fee no matter the result or how much time it takes.
- By the result, for example, an attorney may ask for 30% of the amount you win in your lawsuit.
Meet with the prospective attorneys
Once you have created a list of all the prospective attorneys, the last step is meeting them all to understand them in person. The initial consultation allows you to decide if you should hire them. It also gives you the opportunity to ask questions and clear your doubts. You can ask questions about their legal background, clients, odds of a successful outcome, etc.