No matter how busy your bankruptcy attorney may be, he or she should return your calls in a timely manner. Below, we discuss what you can do if your bankruptcy attorney doesn’t return your calls. (Learn more about what to look for in a bankruptcy attorney.)
Reasons Why Your Bankruptcy Attorney May Not Be Calling You Back
In some cases, your bankruptcy attorney may have a good reason for not returning your calls. For example, your lawyer may not be calling you back because he or she:
- didn’t get your message
- didn’t understand that you wanted a call back
- already answered your question through email or another method, or
- had an emergency that made it impossible to return your call.
What Can You Do If Your Bankruptcy Lawyer Doesn’t Return Your Calls?
The following are some of the most common steps you can take if your bankruptcy lawyer won’t return your calls.
There is always a chance that your bankruptcy attorney didn’t receive your message. For this reason, the first thing to do is to call your attorney again. If a receptionist or another member of the attorney’s staff answers the phone, you can check with him or her about whether the attorney received your first message.
If a receptionist answers the phone, he or she should be able to provide you with information about why the attorney has not called you back. If the attorney isn’t available, leave another message and ask to be called back right away.
If you get the attorney’s voicemail when you call, leave another message and indicate that this is your second attempt at trying to contact him or her.
Contact Your Attorney Through Other Means
In some cases, your attorney may not receive your messages if he or she isn’t in the office. In addition, some attorneys respond much quicker to email communications. If you have the attorney’s email address, you can try to contact him or her that way. If email isn’t successful, you may even try sending a letter through the mail.
Go to Your Attorney’s Office
If you can’t get in touch with your attorney after numerous attempts, try to make an appointment to see him or her (especially if you can talk to a receptionist). If you can’t make an appointment, you can try going into the office to learn about why the attorney isn’t returning your calls.
Talk to Your Attorney at an Upcoming Court Hearing
If you have a bankruptcy hearing coming up, you can expect your attorney to be there. For this reason, whether or not your attorney asked you to attend the hearing, you can go to the hearing to find your lawyer. If your attorney doesn’t show up to your hearing, you can let the judge know that you haven’t been able to get in touch with your lawyer.
Contact Your State Bar Association
If you can’t get in touch with your attorney at all, you can call your state bar association (the organization that regulates the conduct of attorneys) to receive guidance on what you can do next.
In some cases, the state bar may provide certain procedures to follow to contact your attorney. If your attorney refuses to talk to you, you may be able to report him or her to the state bar for possible disciplinary action.
Replace Your Attorney
If your attorney isn’t returning your calls or otherwise handling your case effectively, it may be time to replace your lawyer. Attorneys provide a service just like any other professional. This means that if you’re not happy with the service, you can fire and replace your attorney at any time. (Learn more about replacing your bankruptcy attorney.)