10 Reasons Why You Need a Bankruptcy Attorney
If you’ve decided to file for bankruptcy to discharge your debts, you have the right to do so without an attorney. However, most people hire a lawyer to help them file because the process is often more complicated than they thought it would be. If you need help filing for bankruptcy, call a specialist like the ones we have at Davis, Ermis, and Roberts P.C. We have been helping clients navigate the bankruptcy process for over 35 years, and we can help you, too!
Bankruptcies can be confusing and intimidating when you try to do them yourself. Attorneys provide valuable assistance in making sure everything is filed as required by law, keeping debtors from harassing you, and helping rebuild your credit after the bankruptcy.
Here are ten reasons why you should hire a bankruptcy attorney before you file.
The Planning Phase
- Deciding to File. It’s wise to consult an attorney before you file for bankruptcy, because it is a serious but often misunderstood solution that can hurt your credit for years to come. If there is a better way to reduce or discharge your debts, your lawyer will find it.
- Deciding Which Type to File. Most people file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcies. In a Chapter 7, your assets may be sold off to pay your debts. Chapter 13 allows you to consolidate your debts into a more affordable payment plan. Your attorney will help you decide which approach is best.
The Preparation Phase
- Determining Means. A bankruptcy lawyer will pore over your finances and determine whether you can afford a payment plan or whether a complete discharge of debts is necessary. They will also look for extenuating circumstances that may help your case.
- Property Valuation. During a bankruptcy, the court will want to know what you own and how much the items are worth. An attorney will make sure each item is accounted for and accurately valued.
- Personal Belongings. You might be able to keep some property, like your house or personal belongings, during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Your lawyer will use their knowledge of the rules to help you keep as much property as possible.
- Discharge of Debts. Some debts, like student loans and child support, cannot be eliminated through bankruptcy. Your attorney will tell you which debts will go away and which you will still be responsible for.
- Schedules and Paperwork. Bankruptcy requires you to file pages of financial data about your debts, income, expenses, assets, and recent financial transactions, all under penalty of perjury. Your lawyer will know which belongings to disclose, file all the necessary documents, and make sure everything is done on time.
- Legal Guidance. It’s important to know your rights and responsibilities during a bankruptcy proceeding. Your attorney will keep you informed every step of the way.
- When you file bankruptcy paperwork, you must agree that it is all true and accurate. You reaffirm this accuracy every time you appear in court or meet with your creditors. Your lawyer will ensure that your testimony is correct.
- Managing Creditors. A judge will place an automatic stay on debt collection attempts when you file for bankruptcy, but some bill collectors don’t take the hint. A bankruptcy lawyer can send them a cease and desist letter and ask the court to hold them in contempt if they do not comply.
Once it’s all over, your lawyer will make sure debt collectors leave you alone and help you organize your finances to prepare to rebuild your credit.
You don’t have to go through bankruptcy alone. When you need an experienced bankruptcy attorney, call Davis, Ermis, and Roberts, P.C. We’ll walk you through the entire process and make sure everything is done right. Contact us before you file!