If you are ready to file for bankruptcy, you are facing a serious decision. On the one hand, you might feel like you can handle the application yourself, and saving the attorney fees seems like an appealing prospect. On the other hand, there are serious benefits to working with a bankruptcy attorney. Not only can a bankruptcy attorney help you understand the process, but you might end up avoiding unknown costs that are associated with bankruptcy filing, making the investment more than worth your while. Let’s take a look at a few functions of a bankruptcy attorney and what you should consider in your decision whether or not to enlist their services in your bankruptcy process.
Benefits in the Preparation Process
Before you file for bankruptcy, you need to know your options. A bankruptcy attorney will not necessarily encourage you to pursue this particular type of filing. By taking a look at your financial situation an attorney will be able to assess your options and give you expert advice about alternatives to bankruptcy filing if they are better for you. Once you have a sense of the options, a bankruptcy attorney can also help you decide which type of bankruptcy filing is appropriate. There are specific benefits and limitations to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, and you might need help deciding which will benefit you most in the long run.
Though you might get more debt relief from one or the other type of bankruptcy filing, the long-term effects are important to consider, as well. A means test is necessary to determine which type of filing is appropriate for you, and your bankruptcy attorney can help complete this assessment. Calculating the balance of your asset valuation and which exemptions might apply to you can be a precise, even tedious process. An attorney can also explain to you which of your depts will be discharged through the bankruptcy filing and which will not be subject to relief. As you can see, each of these steps requires knowledge, expertise, and wisdom, so a bankruptcy attorney can be the best source of assistance for the detailed process.
Benefits in the Filing Process
Indeed, filing the bankruptcy paperwork is a central function of a bankruptcy attorney, and doing so accurately and thoroughly can make the difference in the ultimate success of your case. At each step of the way, a bankruptcy attorney can assist you with a step-by-step guide to what needs to be filed, what information is necessary, and how to proceed. Your testimony must be correct in the filing, or else you might be subject to the penalty of perjury, so making sure that each step is clearly and truthfully testified can have effects for your future legal outcomes, as well.
During the filing process, you might have creditors who continue to contact you for collections, and your bankruptcy attorney can make it clear to them which collections are subject to bankruptcy relief. Your attorney can also negotiate with your creditors in some cases to help you retain ownership of your house or car. Each of these moments in the process requires not only expertise but also the legitimacy that a bankruptcy attorney can lend to your case, helping you get the most out of the process.
Benefits Moving Forward
As you begin to rebuild credit, your bankruptcy attorney can help you discover the right path to financial freedom moving forward. As a trusted guide, your bankruptcy attorney can let you know which kinds of offers are appropriate for you and which are a bad idea. As soon as your case is adjudicated, you are likely to get many offers that seem appealing, but some of these will not contribute to your ongoing financial freedom.
As you can see, a bankruptcy attorney offers expertise, knowledge, and legitimacy that can make a remarkable difference in your filing. Though you might be able to fill out the paperwork, it’s always possible to make a misstep in the process with serious ramifications for your future financial and legal wellbeing. If you are considering getting a bankruptcy attorney, you can begin with a consultation to see if it’s right for you.