Why Should I Hire A Bankruptcy Lawyer?

Why should I hire a bankruptcy attorney?

When filing for bankruptcy, there are a myriad of rules and regulations that must be adhered to. If regulations aren’t met and technical missteps are made, the errors can be costly in regards to a debtor’s rights. If you’re filing for bankruptcy, you have the right to file without the help of an attorney, also known as filing pro se. However, doing so may have long-term financial and legal repercussions. When filing for bankruptcy, here are five reasons why seeking legal counsel is a must:

Understanding the Different Types of Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy involves deciding between the different types of bankruptcy options. U.S. Bankruptcy Code offers five different bankruptcy filing options – Chapter 7, 9, 11, 12, and 13. Each type of bankruptcy is completely different, and offers different options regarding status (individual or business), debt extinguishment, and payment options. Having a thorough understanding of the types of bankruptcy available, and regulations and rules associated with each is critical. An attorney can help you to understand the different types of bankruptcy, and provide you guidance regarding which type is most suitable for your financial needs.

Avoiding Bankruptcy Fraud

Bankruptcy fraud is a serious crime in the United States, punishable by both civil penalties (such as loss of exemptions) and criminal penalties (like prison time or fines). If, when filing for bankruptcy, you do not disclose all property and assets, falsify information or records, or fail to fill out your bankruptcy forms accurately, truthfully, and completely, you may be at risk of committing bankruptcy fraud. In order to ensure that you avoid both civil and criminal penalties associated with bankruptcy fraud, it is essential that an attorney review your forms prior to submittal.

Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is much more straightforward and simple than Chapter 13 bankruptcy is. If you are filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you should know that doing so is much more complex and labor intensive, and requires constructing a realistic payment plan that can be presented to creditors. Additionally, if alterations to a mortgage or car loan are included in your bankruptcy needs, the paperwork is even more intense. Essentially, filing for Chapter13 bankruptcy requires an extensive understanding of bankruptcy law; if you are not trained in bankruptcy law, it is highly advised that you seek legal counsel.

As a note, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can also be complex if you are a business owner, have a high number of assets, have non-dischargeable debts, or have income that may disqualify you from filing.

Fulfilling Credit Counseling and Debtor Education Requirements

In order to file for bankruptcy, both credit counseling and post-filing debtor education courses are required for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You must receive credit counseling from an approved agency prior to filing, and you cannot receive a discharge of debts until debtor education requirements have been fulfilled. If you fail to do either, your bankruptcy claim will be denied. If working with an attorney, your lawyer can help you to understand the differences between the two courses, and how to attend both.

Contact a Bankruptcy Attorney Today

Being buried in debt can be a very emotional and exhausting experience, as well as one that is scary and stressful. If you are facing overwhelming amounts of debt and are considering filing bankruptcy, it is within your best interest to retain the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney. An attorney can help to put an end to debt creditor harassment, explain your options for filing, help you to get all necessary documents and paperwork in order, and provide you with a straight-forward and stress-free solution to your financial problems.

Sources

http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyResources/FilingBankruptcyWithoutAttorney.aspx

http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyResources/BankruptcyFraudAndAbuse.aspx

8 thoughts on “Why Should I Hire A Bankruptcy Lawyer?

  1. Derek Mcdoogle Reply

    My sister has lost her job, her house, and now needs help filing for bankruptcy. You stated that bankruptcy fraud is a serious crime in the United States, punishable by both civil penalties and criminal penalties. Are most lawyers trained in how to detect or prevent this type of fraud? It seems that hiring a lawyer can make sure that she does everything correctly.

    • Ashley Lauber Reply

      Derek, your sister should definitely consult with a bankruptcy attorney. A bankruptcy is a complex legal process with many potential complications. Like any legal matter, it’s highly risky to proceed without counsel.

  2. Vivian Delgado Reply

    Understanding the difference between the different types of bankruptcy can be quite confusing to the everyday person. An experienced bankruptcy attorney has worked with multiple bankruptcy types and can explain the differences to you in language that makes sense to you.

  3. John Ferrell Reply

    I like the suggestion of having an attorney review your forms prior to submitting your information. I think that if you have professional help then you might have a better chance of filling out the forms correctly. I think that if you don’t know how to fill them out then a professional might be able to help you.

  4. Pam Lassila Reply

    There is so much to know when it comes to filing for bankruptcy that I feel like a lot of people don’t. That’s why I would hire a lawyer. They are trained in this field and know all the ins and outs. They can help you adhere to all of those rules and regulations to make sure everything is done properly.

  5. Violette Lebrac Reply

    My brother is really deep in debt, and he’s considering filing for bankruptcy. I don’t know much about it, so I appreciate that you suggested researching the different kinds you can file for because they’re all very different. Maybe he should get a bankruptcy lawyer so they can explain the filing option he should take.

  6. Scott Adams Reply

    I like that you talked about how you can be in legal trouble if you make mistakes on bankruptcy forms. I have been thinking about declaring bankruptcy, but I don’t know where to start. I can see how it would be smart to hire a lawyer. That way, I won’t have to worry about making mistakes on any paperwork.

  7. Vivian Black Reply

    As I understood the article, it would be important to hire a bankruptcy attorney to avoid bankruptcy fraud as it is a serious crime in the United States, especially when filling for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy as it can be very complex and labor intensive. That should be pretty helpful for those who are already suffering from their loss of income and business as an addition of a crime to their bankruptcy would make things even more of a burden than it already is. I’ll be sure to keep these things in mind in the case that I would ever need it someday if I ever venture into the business industry. Thanks!

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