When Should I Consider Hiring a Bankruptcy Attorney?

By | September 20, 2013

Many individuals that are considering bankruptcy as their best option for their financial situation find it challenging to spend money by hiring a bankruptcy attorney. Many of them have the idea that they can simply fill out the paperwork alone, or hire someone at a reduced fee.

However, it is more financially advantageous to hire the experience of a bankruptcy lawyer as soon as the decision has been made. This is because they have assisted hundreds or thousands of clients when filing for bankruptcy. In addition, they are well versed in comprehensive bankruptcy law that can be used to reach a successful conclusion.

The process of bankruptcy can be significantly more complicated than how it might appear. While the testimony at a bankruptcy hearing might be over quickly, it is because the complicated details and extensive paperwork were all completed and filed before the hearing ever took place. When the hearing moves along smoothly, it is a result of having everything done correctly ahead of time.

In fact, bankruptcy involves more than just dealing with the bills that are owed. There might be specific assets that the individual owns that could or could not be exempt through the bankruptcy process. In fact, any item that is not disclosed could lose its protection and be lost as a result of non-disclosure. Additionally, any action that was taken months or years leading up to the filing a bankruptcy can have significant consequences. If not correctly handled, these improper financial actions can easily cause unintentional ramifications on the family.

Many individuals that file for bankruptcy on their own believe that the trustee that is assigned to their case is looking after their best interest. However, it is the trustee’s responsibility to protect the interest of every creditor that is owed money. Alternatively, a hired bankruptcy attorney looks after the best interest of their client, and not the creditor.

A lawyer skilled in bankruptcy law can determine exactly what debts should be paid off and which should be discharged. The experienced attorney can assist their client in protecting non-exempt assets using options provided by law. In addition, the attorney will work directly with the client to ensure that every asset is on the list to provide its full protection. The process provided by the lawyer will ensure that the bankruptcy provides the intended results – a new financial beginning.

Available Options

Consumers usually have the ability to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 options. According to bankruptcy law, Chapter 7 allows the individual to ask the court to discharge nearly all financial debts that are owed. As an exchange for obtaining the discharge, the trustee of the bankruptcy case has the ability to take any of the individual’s property that does not have an exemption to be used to pay off debt. To raise money, the trustee can sell the property, and distribute all of the acquired proceeds to pay off creditors.

Alternatively, by filing for Chapter 13, the individual can create a reasonable repayment plan and file it with the bankruptcy court. This will allow them to pay back a portion or all of the debt over time. The skillful attorney can help the individual in determining the amount that will need to be repaid. The amount is often determined on how much the individual earns and the type of debts that are owed along with the property the individual owns.

The Benefits of an Attorney

Many individuals believe that they simply cannot afford to hire a bankruptcy attorney to handle all the complex aspects of their case. However, most individuals will save significantly more money over time when hiring a skilled attorney before filing their case. The benefits of an attorney can provide include:

Creditor Harassment Protection

Most individuals believe that the moment they inform their creditors, including collection agencies, that they have hired legal counsel, the creditors are legally required to stop the harassing. However, by law the creditor still has the legal right to make contact. A solution for stopping the harassment from the creditor is to inform each one that an attorney has been hired and that all calls should be made to the lawyer’s office. This action will alleviate much of the stress that was caused when a creditor or collection agency called the house.

Navigating the Process

The complexities of a bankruptcy petition can be enormous. The court system requires proper documents to be filed in a timely manner. There are questions and answers asked by the trustee when reviewing the case. There are actions and paperwork to be filled out for every creditor. A simple solution for navigating through the process is to turn over the bankruptcy to a skilled attorney.

This way the individual can be assured that the attorney is making the right moves and filing the correct paperwork that will have a direct positive impact toward having the discharge of debts granted. The attorney will be skilled in how to proceed, saving the individual money and time.

Hiring Expertise

There are certain aspects of a bankruptcy filing that require extensive understanding of the law. This includes statutes of limitations on how long a debt can be remain active. A skilled attorney will know which creditors can make an active claim to receive repayment of their debt.

In addition, an experienced attorney will make sure that all of the paperwork has been filled out and filed correctly. Making a mistake at any time during the process can result in an unexpected dismissed case. Because bankruptcy laws continue to change in substantial ways, filling out the proper forms completely and accurately is essential to ensure that the individual makes claim to a successful petition. Any improperly filed documentation or mistake can easily have the case dismissed.

Because the lack of knowledge in bankruptcy law can create dire consequences, it is important to hire a skilled bankruptcy lawyer as soon as the decision for bankruptcy has been made. The attorney can protect the legal rights and interests of their client to allow them to regain peace of mind. Their efforts can help their client reestablish their financial health and begin the process of living an active debt-free life.

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