Filing bankruptcy can be an especially stressful time in your life. Whether you’re considering filing chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy, it can be challenging. There is so much to know and do that it may not be possible to know every aspect of a bankruptcy filing. One person who can make this strenuous process a little easy is a lawyer on your side.
1. Increase Chances of Getting Your Plan Confirmed
Did you know that about 80% of those individuals who are filing bankruptcy without a lawyer stand a high chance of getting their bankruptcy plan rejected by the court? Well, this is with good reason- if you are filing bankruptcy, this is probably the first and only time you are going through this complicated process. You can do online research on your own to get your bankruptcy through the courts, but there is often conflicting information online and only a lawyer can get you accurate information. A bankruptcy lawyer has most likely done this for tons of clients and knows exactly how to competently get you through this process without much pain. A bankruptcy lawyer can take the guesswork out of the cumbersome process of bankruptcy. This is why you need a lawyer on your side.
2. Financial Options and Counselling
A bankruptcy lawyer knows the ins and outs of the financial laws- within your jurisdiction, your state and your country. He/she can offer insight into what plan is right for you. He/she can also advise you on what type of bankruptcy- chapter 7 or 13- is right for you. They are able to easily determine eligibility, work with others to determine a financial plan that you can live with. In addition, you can also get a clearer picture of which of your assets will be affected because of filing bankruptcy and which debts you are not obligated to pay back. There are exemptions you can take advantage of, depending on what chapter you are filing under, that only bankruptcy lawyers are aware of. In addition, you are obligated to attend a credit counselling session and obtain a certificate to that effect before filing bankruptcy. A lawyer can recommend competent credit counsellors and repayment plans as well.
3. Save On Legwork
Filing bankruptcy without a lawyer is possible, but it is really high on legwork and stress. You have a ton of documentation you have to produce, a lot of creditors to deal with and a lot of research to do. You have to get your hands on outstanding credit statements, tax filings, registration documents, insurance proofs, property evaluations, social security information and credit notices. So, why not a hire a lawyer to do the legwork and get the documentation on your behalf? This can save you time for the more important things like securing your income and attending credit counselling to avoid future debt.
4. Decode the Application
Filling out an applications seems a simple enough activity to do, but filing bankruptcy takes filling out of a cumbersome application and tons more of paperwork. Filling out this application requires you to have knowledge of bankruptcy law and its complexities. You need competent organization, a deep knowledge of the application and your options- all things your bankruptcy lawyer can offer you. Unfortunately, any mistakes with the application can get your application delayed or dismissed in court- and you don’t want that! The only way, then, to avoid delays or dismissals is to get a lawyer to file accurate, timely documentation on your behalf.
5. Face Creditors Confidently
Of course, when you file bankruptcy, not all your creditors will get paid all your money within your discharge. Very often, if the money owed to them is high enough they may choose to challenge the decision in court. These companies often come with their own experienced lawyers and so doesn’t it make sense for you to have your own lawyers? You may have to face these creditors and come to some compromise with them. In this situation, having a lawyer on your side can go a long way. Lawyers can help you get the best deal with your creditors as well as do what is best for you, in your financial situation.
While it may seem a little unnecessary to hire a lawyer, it is probably in your best interest to get a lawyer on your side to deal with the nitty gritty of filing bankruptcy. Consider, though, that you have to pay your lawyer at the time of filing bankruptcy- about $1700 that cannot be carried over to your bankruptcy filing. You may have to put up the money to pay for the lawyer, but you can be rest assured that the money will save you a lot on stress, work and money (in the long run).