The importance of a thorough initial consultation for bankruptcy | Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney | Michael Barnett, PA | Office locations in Hillsborough, Pasco & Polk County Florida


This firm is now able to have all meetings necessary to file a bankruptcy case by telephone or video chat via Skype or Zoom.  Documents can be signed electronically, and filed upon the electronic signature with the originals mailed to the office by postal mail later.  Court hearings before judges are almost always held by telephone until the emergency is over, and meetings of creditors set before April 10 are continued, ones set after April 10 are tentatively being scheduled but procedures may change to do these by video or telephone.


The firm remains open to serve your needs while keeping everyone safe.

813-870-3100 | 506 N. Armenia Ave. Tampa FL 33609

Michael Barnett, PA
506 N. Armenia Ave. Tampa FL 33609 | 813-870-3100


The importance of a thorough initial consultation for bankruptcy:

Unfortunately, some law firms will give quotes and recommendations in a five or ten minute call without doing a full analysis. The initial consultation with a firm should


1) be with an experienced attorney, not a junior associate or paralegal;

2) should go into depth as to a number of matters, including income, debts, assets, charges, and transactions with family or friends.


The appointment should be scheduled for at least 45 minutes, though may take less time. Some cases may require additional information before counsel can give a competition recommendation. Most attorneys will not charge for this consultation. Counsel should then send a letter explaining any issues in the case and detailing their recommendation, including any actions the client needs to take before filing. The law also requires that you sign 2 disclosures and a contract explaining the terms of the initial consultation within 5 days of such consultation. Many attorneys are either unaware of this requirement, or simply ignore it.


At Law Office of Michael Barnett I schedule a one hour free consultation for new clients, and send both a letter before the appointment explaining to clients what information we will be going over, and a letter after the appointment with recommendations and noting any issues. This goes a long way toward avoiding surprises after the case is filed.


Michael Barnett has been board certified in consumer bankruptcy law by the American Board of Certification since 1993, and is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell*. AV Preeminent®: The highest peer rating standard. This is given to attorneys who are ranked at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal expertise, communication skills, and ethical standards by their peers.

Michael Barnett, Esq.
Michael Barnett, PA
506 N Armenia Ave.
Tampa, FL 33609-1703



• AV® , AV Preeminent® , Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished℠ and Martindale-Hubbell Notable℠ are Certification Marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

Over 25 Years in Florida

Serving Hillsborough and Pasco County Florida for Over 25 Years!

Michael Barnett has provided his services in and around Tampa, Florida covering Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk County for over 20 years.

Board Certified

Mr. Barnett is board certified by the American Board of Certification in consumer bankruptcy law, and has been board certified since January 1993.

BBB Accredited

The BBB has determined that this business meets accreditation standards.