Four Critical Reasons to Hire an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney

If you are experiencing financial distress and are unsure of your options, an experienced bankruptcy attorney can provide critical advice and assistance. Filing for bankruptcy allows you to make a plan to repay your debts or discard them altogether. You may be able to start over by liquidating your assets and repaying your debts, or you may need to get help for your financially protected business. These are four reasons why hiring a lawyer helps in deciding the best course of action to tackle your debt.

1. Help With Complex Laws and Filing Options

The laws surrounding the insolvency process are complex and varied and can be difficult to navigate without a legal professional to guide you. The filing process alone can be very complicated, and making the right choice on how to file could have a permanent impact on the rest of your life. When it comes to individual filing options, Chapter 7 is faster but has a cutoff on income, while Chapter 13 typically involves a 5-year payment plan. Choosing between the two can be confusing; for example, if you attempt to file for Chapter 7 as an individual, but your income is above the annual limit, you will need to take a test that relies on your expenses and income. This test can be difficult if you don’t have legal advice because it isn’t based on your current income or your actual expenses. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you make the right decisions and will counsel you on whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 would be better for your particular situation.

2. Familiarity With Paperwork and Trustees

While technically you are allowed to file your own papers, most people who aren’t familiar with the process don’t know how to fill out the paperwork correctly and provide the required information. If you file without any legal help, and the trustee assigned to your case follows up by requesting additional information in order to confirm the claims you made in your documents, a bankruptcy attorney can be a valuable resource who knows exactly what information the court needs. One of the worst mistakes you can make is to provide incorrect paperwork and not know how to fix your errors.

3. Help With a Formal Court Hearing

Depending on which way you decide to file, you may be required to go to court and present your case before a trustee on multiple occasions. It is important to consider if you would be able to represent yourself or if you need a lawyer to handle proper courtroom procedures and etiquette. Experienced legal counsel would guide you through the process and handle the formal courtroom procedures with ease.

4. Assistance With Creditors

Creditors are required to stop calling and harassing you once you’ve hired a bankruptcy attorney. If they fail to halt the harassing calls after you’ve hired a lawyer, they will be violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which was created to eliminate abusive practices used in the collection of debts. Thus, hiring an attorney will ensure that you endure less harassment during your bankruptcy proceedings.

Facing your debts can be overwhelming, but with the help of an experienced lawyer, you should be able to resolve your issues quickly and efficiently.

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How to Find a Skilled Bankruptcy Attorney

A bankruptcy attorney has the ability to guide you through the entire process of filing for bankruptcy. In the process of looking for the skilled professional, you want to find someone who you are comfortable discussing your private financial matters with, an expert in their field and will quote a fair price. Here are a few things to consider in the process of finding a skilled bankruptcy attorney:

Make the initial contact

There are several ways to get in touch with a bankruptcy attorney, including online directories, colleagues and friends. If you feel comfortable doing so, a recommendation from a colleague or friend is a great way to find a reliable professional.

It may be worth visiting official sites like the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) and the American Bar Association (ABA). They are likely to include the type of lawyers that meet the required standards to provide a high level of service.

Try to get in touch with two or three attorneys and make sure to arrange an initial conference to discuss your situation and ask relevant question to make sure they are right for your needs.

Finding a specialist that has deep knowledge of this specific area of law is essential to achieve the best result, and avoids issues like a missing a deadline or not filing a form that could lead to a case being thrown out.

In the process of interviewing the attorney’s make sure to ask questions related to their background and what specialized training they have completed. If they are able to provide proof of their knowledge, such as a certification issued by the American Board of Certification then this will indicate they know how to handle a bankruptcy case. Try to find out the number of similar cases handled in the past. Also, a respected attorney has the ability to give guidance on other options, such as credit counseling.

Cost of services

The cost of the services quoted by the bankruptcy attorney is certain to be a major consideration. A Chapter 7 filing is likely to cost less than a Chapter 13. The most basic Chapter 7 case may start at about $500, but will increase depending on what is involved. However, the more complex cases related to Chapter can reach $6,000 or more. It is important to get an idea of the attorney’s fee structure at the first meeting to make sure they are within your price range.

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