The financial strain most people find themselves in, makes it tempting to consider handling the process
alone to save on legal costs. There are many potential challenges to filing alone, so most people who are
thinking of filing bankruptcy consult with an attorney beforehand. Working with a bankruptcy lawyer is
critical to assess your options, balance benefits or consequences, and avoid legal errors while handling
your creditor issues. This can help a person ensure that no options are overlooked and that no
avoidable mistakes are made during the filling process. Sseeking competent legal help is essential for
you to file bankruptcy.
1. Evaluating Options
Bankruptcy is not always the only choice available if you are struggling with debt. For example, many
clients can benefit from debt negotiation/consolidation. This option works best if you have outstanding
liabilities with one creditor. Speaking to an attorney who has the right experience will help you evaluate
which options are available so you can choose the best fit.
2 . Understanding Impact
Many times people go into bankruptcy with mistaken beliefs about its benefits, drawbacks and long-
term impacts. An attorney will ensure that you avoid making decisions in your bankruptcy based on false
expectations or misunderstandings. Because each case is different, only a lawyer can provide accurate
answers to the following questions:
- Which debts are dischargeable? This varies by the chapter of bankruptcy as well as the nature of
the debt. A common example is student loan debt. Student loans are typically not dischargeable
in Chapter 7 or 13, unless it causes “undue hardship.”
- Will filing result in losing my property? People who file Chapter 7, which is also known as a
liquidation bankruptcy, risk losing their non-exempt property. A qualified attorney can evaluate
the available exemptions specific to your case and the legal effects of filing.
- Which chapter provides the greatest advantage? Determining this depends on many factors,
including your assets, income and the nature of the debt.
3. Dealing with creditors
When we file your bankruptcy an automatic stay is created, which immediately stops all wage
garnishments, contacts from creditors as well as any other debt collection activities. However, in some
cases creditors may continue these actions because they are either unaware of a bankruptcy filing, or
others may intentionally or deliberately violate the stay. When working with an attorney, you can rest
assured that proper notice is provided and that your rights are not violated.
4. Avoiding legal mistakes
The bankruptcy process is governed by local court rules which can be very technical. Debtors filing file
without an attorney are held to the same rules, and officials of the bankruptcy court are forbidden from
giving any legal advice. People filing on their own risk making mistakes that can easily lead to delays or
even get your case dismissed. By using an attorney you avoid missed deadlines, paperwork errors and
any number of other oversights that can negatively affect a your case.