Whether you’re looking at filing for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the decision to file a personal bankruptcy case is definitely a big one that has serious long-term implications — but for many Americans who simply can’t work their way out of debt, filing for bankruptcy is the best option available. But before you do anything else, your first move should be to call up your local bankruptcy attorney for advice and ongoing help. Here are just a few reasons why bankruptcy attorneys are absolutely essential:
- Protection from harassment from creditor collection agencies. Harassing phone calls are probably the worst things about being in debt — but when you file a legal claim and start seeking bankruptcy help, there are strict restrictions on when and how debt collectors can contact you. In many cases, getting assistance from your local bankruptcy attorney will make the calls stop completely, even when you still have debts to pay off.
- Information about the difference between Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy filings, and advice regarding which chapter is best for you. Many people see Chapter 7 bankruptcy as the best option because it offers short-term relief by liquidating (i.e., erasing) certain debts like car payments and credit card bills. But it’s important to remember that Chapter 7 isn’t the best option for everyone, and in many cases, the repayment plans allowed under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy timeline will help you build up your credit score (which will definitely be hurting a bit after you make your claim). A bankruptcy lawyer will be able to advise you on which option is best for you, and will help you understand the long-term effects of both choices.
- Help with state and federal laws, court paperwork, and long-term financial planning. It’s also important to realize that because Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves debt liquidation (except for certain debts like student loans and outstanding child support payments), the court will make you go through a long petition process and prove that you really can’t pay off these debts. A local bankruptcy attorney will be able to guide you through this process, or, if you decide that Chapter 13 is the best option, your attorney can provide valuable financial planning resources to help you create and follow the most reasonable payment plan possible.
Ultimately, if you’ve decided that filing for bankruptcy is the only way that you’ll be able to find financial relief, there’s no reason to hesitate to call up your local law firm and ask for some advice. The bankruptcy process certainly isn’t simple and can be pretty stressful, but an experienced attorney will be able to help you through the entire thing. More like this blog.