One huge consideration that many people make when they’re thinking about filing bankruptcy is: “should I hire an attorney?” Although it’s not that common, you can file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case without an attorney (called “pro se”). Here, we present ten compelling reasons why you should hire an experienced attorney whose practice is dedicated exclusively to bankruptcy law.
An attorney can assist you with bankruptcy planning and determine whether there are other debt-relief options. In certain cases, a non-bankruptcy course of action may be the best remedy for your financial challenges. Other avenues to try may include: try to negotiate with your creditors to lower monthly payments or even forgive debt (many companies have hardship programs to help); get acquainted with debt collectors’ legal limitations so you can identify when they cross the line into harrassment; and work with a nonprofit credit or debt counseling agency to help you negotiate with your creditors.
The job of a bankruptcy attorney is to alleviate your financial stress so that you can focus on the most important things in your life – your job, your family, and school. Working with an attorney, you can rest assured that the minute details of a bankruptcy case will be handled properly and on time.
An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can review your financial situation and advise you if negotiating a settlement or repayment plan with your creditors might resolve most of your issues, without the hassles of a full bankruptcy case.
An attorney familiar with both types of consumer bankruptcy plans (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13) can review all the factors in your situation and quickly determine which type better fits your financial situation.
Think about the last time you did something yourself with little experience, whether it’s a DIY job around the house, filing your taxes, working on your car – admit it, it takes a great deal longer and you’ll often make mistakes if you’ve never done it before. An experienced bankruptcy attorney knows how to complete all the necessary paperwork to filing a bankruptcy case, how to compile and present your supporting documentation, will know all the ins and outs of the 341 meeting of the creditors, important deadlines, court fees involved, and much more.
An experienced bankruptcy attorney will understand the best way to value your personal property, and how to take full advantage of exemptions so you can retain as much of your property as possible in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
Legal representation (your attorney) will ensure that all testimony is accurate, and will represent you at the 341 Creditors Meeting and at any additional court hearings, if necessary.
A bankruptcy attorney knows all the necessary requirements you must meet for a discharge, and will protect your interests throughout the bankruptcy process.
If you have property you want to keep, but are behind on the payments (like a house foreclosure), Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be the best solution for you. In a Chapter 13 case, it’s absolutely imperative to have an experienced bankruptcy attorney to help you set up a fair payment plan, negotiate with the Trustee on your behalf, and help you complete the plan on time. A good bankruptcy lawyer can also advise you during the course of your plan on things like purchasing a car.
If you are behind on payments on your home (but not yet in foreclosure), a competent attorney may be able to help you negotiate a possible mortgage modification or seek other solutions that would allow you to keep your home, without filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Most bankruptcy attorneys are well-versed in negotiating with mortgage companies and are familiar with laws that affect mortgages. Your financial situation may be much better served if you can arrange for a solution outside of bankruptcy.
Of course, there are many more reasons to hire a qualified, experienced bankruptcy attorney to help you navigate the murky financial waters of a personal bankruptcy case. These ten reasons are pretty compelling, especially if you’ve never handled anything like this yourself. Filing bankruptcy, either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, can be very complicated, and the decisions you make during the course of your case can affect your financial picture for a long time.
For a local expert in bankruptcy issues, with extensive legal experience and a nearby bankruptcy lawyer in the Central Ohio area, it will be difficult to find a better bankruptcy attorney to represent you than David A. Bhaerman. David is compassionate, caring, and non-judgmental in his approach to helping his clients navigate their way through financial challenges.
To determine if Chapter 7 bankruptcy will help relieve the stress of your current financial situation, call 614-834-7110 for a free initial consultation. You may also use our convenient scheduling form on this page to book an appointment.