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Best Vermont Bankruptcy Lawyers

Navigating the complexities of bankruptcy can be daunting, but the right lawyer can make all the difference. Vermont boasts a selection of highly skilled bankruptcy attorneys who can guide you through the process with expertise and compassion. This article provides an in-depth look at some of the best bankruptcy lawyers in Vermont, including their backgrounds, areas of expertise, and client reviews. We’ll also cover what to look for when choosing a bankruptcy lawyer and the credentials that signal a top-tier professional.

What to Look for in a Bankruptcy Lawyer

When searching for a bankruptcy lawyer, it’s essential to consider a few key factors to ensure you receive the best possible representation. Here are some points to keep in mind:

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Experience and Specialization

A lawyer’s experience in handling bankruptcy cases is crucial. Attorneys like Richard Scholes, with over 51 years of experience, or Kathleen Walls, who has specialized in bankruptcy for over 15 years, bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. Specialized practice ensures that the lawyer is well-versed in the nuances of bankruptcy law, increasing the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

Client Reviews and Reputation

Reviews from past clients provide valuable insight into a lawyer’s effectiveness and client service. For instance, Mary G. Kirkpatrick from South Burlington receives high praise for her diligence and expertise. Similarly, Neil Nussbaum, practicing in Williston, is known for his thorough and compassionate approach.

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Accessibility and Communication

A lawyer who is accessible and communicative can make the bankruptcy process less stressful. Look for attorneys who offer free consultations, virtual appointments, and clear communication channels. Lawyers like Michelle Kainen in White River Junction are noted for their responsiveness and client support.

Fee Structure

Understanding the fee structure is vital. Some lawyers offer payment plans or accept credit cards, making their services more accessible. Always inquire about the cost and payment options upfront to avoid any surprises.

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Top Vermont Bankruptcy Lawyers

Kathleen Walls

  • Location: Middlebury, VT
  • Experience: 29 years
  • Specialization: Bankruptcy
  • Contact: Website, (800) 863-2818
  • Overview: Kathleen Walls offers compassionate and confidential legal assistance, helping clients stop foreclosures and eliminate debt. Her practice is solely focused on bankruptcy, ensuring dedicated expertise.

Michelle Kainen

  • Location: White River Junction, VT
  • Experience: 21 years
  • Specialization: Bankruptcy, Criminal, DUI, Foreclosure Defense
  • Contact: Website, (802) 296-2100
  • Overview: Michelle Kainen is known for her effective handling of bankruptcy cases and her commitment to her clients’ financial recovery.

Richard Scholes

  • Location: Montpelier, VT
  • Experience: 51 years
  • Specialization: Bankruptcy
  • Contact: Website, (800) 639-6609
  • Overview: With a practice limited to bankruptcy law since 1990 and over 1,300 cases filed, Richard Scholes is one of Vermont’s most experienced bankruptcy attorneys.

Nancy M. Geise

  • Location: Essex Junction, VT
  • Specialization: Bankruptcy
  • Contact: Website, (802) 878-3346
  • Overview: Nancy Geise brings a detailed understanding of bankruptcy law and offers thorough guidance to her clients.

Neil Nussbaum

  • Location: Williston, VT
  • Experience: 31 years
  • Specialization: Bankruptcy
  • Contact: Website, (888) 350-5949
  • Overview: Neil Nussbaum combines his extensive legal experience with a personal touch, ensuring clients feel supported throughout the bankruptcy process.
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Mary G. Kirkpatrick

  • Location: South Burlington, VT
  • Specialization: Bankruptcy
  • Contact: Website, (802) 448-2518
  • Overview: Mary Kirkpatrick is highly regarded for her diligence and effective representation in bankruptcy cases.

Credentials to Look for in a Bankruptcy Lawyer

Certification and Memberships

Credentials such as certification by the American Board of Certification in bankruptcy law or membership in the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) are indicators of a lawyer’s dedication to the field. These credentials demonstrate a commitment to maintaining high standards of practice.

Educational Background

A strong educational background, particularly from well-regarded law schools, can be a good indicator of a lawyer’s foundational knowledge. Lawyers like Richard Scholes, who graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law, bring a high level of academic training to their practice.

Track Record

A proven track record of successful cases is a testament to a lawyer’s capability. Lawyers like Kathleen Walls, who have effectively navigated numerous bankruptcy cases, provide clients with confidence in their legal strategy.

Peer Recognition

Recognition by peers, such as inclusion in Super Lawyers lists or receiving awards for professional achievement, indicates respect and acknowledgment within the legal community. Attorneys like Mary G. Kirkpatrick, listed in Super Lawyers, have earned their peers’ respect through demonstrated excellence.

Table of Top Vermont Bankruptcy Lawyers

Lawyer Name Location Experience Specialization Contact
Kathleen Walls Middlebury, VT 29 years Bankruptcy Website, (800) 863-2818
Michelle Kainen White River Junction, VT 21 years Bankruptcy, Criminal, DUI, Foreclosure Defense Website, (802) 296-2100
Richard Scholes Montpelier, VT 51 years Bankruptcy Website, (800) 639-6609
Nancy M. Geise Essex Junction, VT Bankruptcy Website, (802) 878-3346
Neil Nussbaum Williston, VT 31 years Bankruptcy Website, (888) 350-5949
Mary G. Kirkpatrick South Burlington, VT Bankruptcy Website, (802) 448-2518
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In-Depth Reviews and Client Experiences

Kathleen Walls

Clients praise Kathleen Walls for her compassionate approach and thorough understanding of bankruptcy law. One client noted that her “calm demeanor and detailed explanations made a stressful process much easier to handle.” Another highlighted her ability to “negotiate effectively with creditors, resulting in a favorable outcome.”

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Michelle Kainen

Michelle Kainen is commended for her responsiveness and support. Reviews often mention her willingness to answer questions promptly and clearly. One client stated, “Michelle was there for me every step of the way, making sure I understood each phase of the bankruptcy process.”

Richard Scholes

Richard Scholes’s extensive experience is a significant asset. Clients appreciate his “deep knowledge and strategic thinking.” One review highlighted, “Richard’s experience was evident from our first meeting; he knew exactly how to handle my case and provided excellent advice throughout.”

Nancy M. Geise

Nancy Geise receives high marks for her meticulous attention to detail. Clients describe her as “thorough and dedicated,” ensuring no aspect of their case is overlooked. One client shared, “Nancy took the time to explain all my options and helped me choose the best path forward.”

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Neil Nussbaum

Neil Nussbaum’s clients value his personalized service and expertise. Reviews often mention his “approachable and friendly nature,” making clients feel comfortable and supported. One client remarked, “Neil’s guidance was invaluable; he made a complex process understandable and manageable.”

Mary G. Kirkpatrick

Mary G. Kirkpatrick is known for her diligence and client-focused approach. Reviews frequently mention her “tireless work ethic” and “commitment to achieving the best possible outcome.” One client noted, “Mary went above and beyond to ensure my case was handled efficiently and effectively.”


Choosing the right bankruptcy lawyer is a critical step towards achieving financial relief and stability. By considering factors such as experience, client reviews, and accessibility, you can find a lawyer who will provide the support and expertise needed during this challenging time. Vermont’s top bankruptcy lawyers, such as Kathleen Walls, Michelle Kainen, Richard Scholes, Nancy M. Geise, Neil Nussbaum, and Mary G. Kirkpatrick, offer a range of services tailored to help you navigate the complexities of bankruptcy with confidence and peace of mind.

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