Although filing for bankruptcy can get your finances in shape, it can be challenging to navigate through the entire process because it involves legal matters. You can go “pro se,” which refers to filing a case without legal help, but experts recommend hiring an attorney specializing in bankruptcy services if you are about to go bankrupt. The lawyer will provide legal advice and guidance about filing bankruptcy, assist with preparing documents, and represent you in court.
One of the most crucial roles of a bankruptcy lawyer is to represent the client at hearings. After filing a bankruptcy case, all debtors attend a mandatory hearing referred to as the meeting of creditors. However, depending on the case, the lawyer and client might attend additional hearings. The attorney will represent the client at confirmation hearings (Chapter 13), reaffirmation hearings (Chapter 7), or any objection or motion hearings that the client, creditors, or trustee file.
The lawyer will also advise the client on the bankruptcy to file, either Chapter 7 or 13, and prepare and file the paperwork. Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidates the client’s assets to absolve debt and pay the creditors. Under Chapter 13, a person who files bankruptcy ends up paying the creditors over a specific period.
Are you in debt? If you’ve recently found yourself unable to pay your bills due to loss of income or other reasons, or if the debt has spiraled out of control over time, you may be considering filing for bankruptcy. Many other people are in this same situation in the United States; in fact, 1.1 million households, or every one in 70, file for bankruptcy each year. Of those, most are personal bankruptcy, and 62% of bankruptcies are the result of medical bill debt.
No matter what situation you’ve found yourself in, there are options when it comes to hiring a bankruptcy attorney. Good bankruptcy lawyers will work with you every step of the way to ensure that your bankruptcy results in optimum results and lowered stress for you. Here are some things to expect when you work with one of the bankruptcy attorneys in your area.
The Right Filing:
- One of the first steps when you find good bankruptcy lawyers to work with is receiving advice on which kind of bankruptcy you need to file. Part of this is about knowing the
- . Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation of all your assets to pay back creditors; in some cases, this means that you could lose a house, vehicle, or other possessions. Chapter 13 is a reorganization of debt, so you would be able to have a more manageable way to pay off your loans, bills, and other expenses.
Guidance During the Case:
- Bankruptcy proceedings can take a long time to file and finish. Some of these cases can last six months or longer. Your bankruptcy attorney should be available when you need him or her in order to explain the process to you. He or she should also be up front with you about what you have to do to comply with the law, especially if you have any business expenses in a Chapter 7 case.
Assistance After Your Bankruptcy:
- It’s an unfortunate fact that bankruptcy can ruin a person’s credit score. Some scores can go as low as 300 or 400 after filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13; a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stick around on a credit report for a decade afterward. If you are concerned about your credit (and you should be) after you file, you should be able to receive assistance from an attorney to help you rebuild your credit over time.
Have more questions about filing for bankruptcy? Be sure to find good bankruptcy lawyers in your area. Find out who your friends, family, and coworkers can recommend if they’ve been in your situation. Above all, your bankruptcy attorney should be able to answer all of your questions clearly and honestly. Every situation is different, so it’s best to consult a lawyer about your bankruptcy. Learn more.