Overall, a bankruptcy attorney can steer you in the right legal direction. If you handle a bankruptcy case without an attorney, you may make legal mistakes that carry long-term financial consequences.
Accordingly, bankruptcy can be described as the lack of ability of a business entity or an individual to pay debts owed to them. When an entity or an individual file for bankruptcy and declares so, they can be let off for significant debts they owe.
Choosing a reasonable bankruptcy attorney is your best stake for a perfect outcome if you consider filing for bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy can be a help to get your finances in shape. However, since a bankruptcy filing involves legal matters, it can be challenging to navigate the bankruptcy process alone. Going pro se, which means filing for bankruptcy on your own without hiring an attorney, is doable, but it is not advisable. Experts usually recommend relying on a bankruptcy lawyer to handle such cases.
Ways A Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Aid Your Case
A bankruptcy attorney fortes in providing legal advice to the client on bankruptcy matters, prepares and arranges legal documents for the client, and represents the client in court. A lawyer must hold a law degree and be licensed in the state where they do business. As your guide through the bankruptcy process, here are ways that a bankruptcy lawyer could prove worthy of their hiring (helping you decide):
- Whether to file for bankruptcy;
- Which type of bankruptcy to file;
- How the bankruptcy process works;
- Which court-provided forms need to be completed;
- What kinds of debts can be eliminated or reduced;
- Whether you will be able to hang on to your home, car, or other property after the bankruptcy case is finished.
Hiring A Bankruptcy Lawyer
Representing yourself in court is an option. Whether it is the right and suitable choice depends on your situation. Remember that you have better odds of a successful bankruptcy when hiring an attorney. According to American Bankruptcy Institute (2018), Chapter 7 pro se filers are nearly ten (10) times more likely than lawyer-represented filers to have their cases dismissed or some debt discharge requests denied.
Further, filing for bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for seven or ten years, depending on the type of bankruptcy. Thus, it is essential to consider hiring a bankruptcy lawyer. Here are some key points to keep in mind as you shop around for a bankruptcy lawyer to represent you:
- Look for a Specialist. Attorneys practice in multiple areas; your best bet is to go with someone specializing in bankruptcy law. The Law Offices of Ronald E. Stadtmueller, a Debt Relief in San Diego, can help you file for Chapter 7 quickly and efficiently. Their Lawyers’ experience level is on point as the number of bankruptcy cases they have successfully handled is rising. In fact, at the Law Offices of Ronald E. Stadtmueller, creditors will immediately stop collection efforts once you have filed for bankruptcy, including harassing letters and phone calls.
- Focus on bankruptcy lawyers with local expertise. Besides being familiar with bankruptcy laws, the lawyer should be well aware of your bankruptcy case, including the local laws of the court where it will be filed. This is because bankruptcy procedures tend to vary from locality to locality. That is why you should look for a bankruptcy lawyer who has practiced in your filing locality. They can use their personnel and knowledge of the local court procedures to your benefit.
- Avoid bankruptcy mills. These so-called “bankruptcy mills” handle large numbers of cases without focusing on the specifics of each client’s case. Avoid lawyers with such an assembly line approach. Further, there are also “petition preparers” who are not qualified lawyers and will fill out the bankruptcy paperwork for you. They cannot shepherd you or offer legal advice to you through the bankruptcy process. Be wary of hiring them, too.
- It boils down to your Comfort Level. It is best to go with a bankruptcy lawyer that you feel comfortable with at the end of the day. Look for a lawyer who will listen to you and get the specifics of your case to understand your situation and represent you. Do not make a decision based solely on price. You could save money by paying a reasonable attorney their going rate if they successfully represent you. A lawyer charging a low rate could be cutting corners, leading to a bad outcome in your bankruptcy case.
Filing for bankruptcy is a significant decision. This is because a bankruptcy filing remains on your credit report for 7 to 10 years. Such also depends on the type of bankruptcy. Carefully considering hiring a bankruptcy attorney or whether you want to go the more complicated route of handling it on your own are your choices. Regardless of your choice, Chapter 7 (or Chapter 13) bankruptcy can give you a fresh start in managing your money.