Four Critical Reasons to Hire an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney

If you are experiencing financial distress and are unsure of your options, an experienced bankruptcy attorney can provide critical advice and assistance. Filing for bankruptcy allows you to make a plan to repay your debts or discard them altogether. You may be able to start over by liquidating your assets and repaying your debts, or you may need to get help for your financially protected business. These are four reasons why hiring a lawyer helps in deciding the best course of action to tackle your debt.

1. Help With Complex Laws and Filing Options

The laws surrounding the insolvency process are complex and varied and can be difficult to navigate without a legal professional to guide you. The filing process alone can be very complicated, and making the right choice on how to file could have a permanent impact on the rest of your life. When it comes to individual filing options, Chapter 7 is faster but has a cutoff on income, while Chapter 13 typically involves a 5-year payment plan. Choosing between the two can be confusing; for example, if you attempt to file for Chapter 7 as an individual, but your income is above the annual limit, you will need to take a test that relies on your expenses and income. This test can be difficult if you don’t have legal advice because it isn’t based on your current income or your actual expenses. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you make the right decisions and will counsel you on whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 would be better for your particular situation.

2. Familiarity With Paperwork and Trustees

While technically you are allowed to file your own papers, most people who aren’t familiar with the process don’t know how to fill out the paperwork correctly and provide the required information. If you file without any legal help, and the trustee assigned to your case follows up by requesting additional information in order to confirm the claims you made in your documents, a bankruptcy attorney can be a valuable resource who knows exactly what information the court needs. One of the worst mistakes you can make is to provide incorrect paperwork and not know how to fix your errors.

3. Help With a Formal Court Hearing

Depending on which way you decide to file, you may be required to go to court and present your case before a trustee on multiple occasions. It is important to consider if you would be able to represent yourself or if you need a lawyer to handle proper courtroom procedures and etiquette. Experienced legal counsel would guide you through the process and handle the formal courtroom procedures with ease.

4. Assistance With Creditors

Creditors are required to stop calling and harassing you once you’ve hired a bankruptcy attorney. If they fail to halt the harassing calls after you’ve hired a lawyer, they will be violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which was created to eliminate abusive practices used in the collection of debts. Thus, hiring an attorney will ensure that you endure less harassment during your bankruptcy proceedings.

Facing your debts can be overwhelming, but with the help of an experienced lawyer, you should be able to resolve your issues quickly and efficiently.

Why You Should Hire a Bankruptcy Attorney

Money that you’ve earned is better off in your pocket. A qualified bankruptcy attorney can turn a horrible word like bankruptcy into a breath of fresh air for your financial woes. Remember that filing isn’t necessarily a bad thing for people who need it, as the process was created to provide relief.

The Different Types of Filings

Chapter 7 is beneficial for debtors that qualify and want to keep covered properties in exchange for manageable monthly payments. Almost all debts are completely wiped out. Debtors cannot legally contact you to make collections.

Chapter 13 is a court mandated payment plan for all financial problems, giving you three to five years to pay all debt back using new income. You have to pay back a portion of your debt, calculated by how much money you have available and how much you owe, back to creditors. With Chapter 13, there is more responsibility for repayment and continuing payment after the plan. This qualifies for both minor and major settlements.

Chapter 11 and 12 are used for businesses, allowing them to continue to operate without any harm to the business. This is beneficial on many fronts and happens more than you think. The latter is for farmers or commercial fishermen, allowing them to make payments on the season when it is more advantageous.

Student Loans and Tax Debt

Student loans and tax debt are both hard to eliminate. In court, you would have to prove ‘undue hardship,’ which means that you are completely unable to maintain the lowest standard of living if required to pay back tax debt or student loans. An example of undue hardship is if you become disabled.

Asking Questions That Matter

You cannot just claim bankruptcy; you have to go to a court and petition before a judge. A bankruptcy attorney can help you navigate this complicated process, ensuring the best possible outcomes. Many people are under the impression that bankruptcy will ruin their credit score. However, an attorney will tell you that the bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for ten years but will help you start rebuilding your credit almost immediately. A bankruptcy attorney can also help you keep your house. These laws are federal regulations, and cases are brought to federal courts, not state courts. Many states, however, have homestead exemptions that allow you to keep your house. A professional can help you interpret the laws in your state to protect your home and financial future.

Five Reasons to Hire Chapter 7 Lawyers Before Filing for Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy is complicated and should be handled with great care and attention. Thus, it is recommended to hire professional Chapter 7 lawyers to help fill and file all the necessary documents correctly. Here are five reasons why one should hire this kind of a legal expert.

Complexity of the Matter

Many complex decisions must be addressed during the bankruptcy process. For instance, there is an income-based test which evaluates one’s expenses and income. It’s easy for applicants to make mistakes on certain aspects of this test. For example, reporting the correct household size can prove difficult because even some courts disagree on how this should be done. Some assert that it should be a measure of how many people are in the home, while others only include those who are financially dependent on the head of the household. Chapter 7 lawyers can help applicants to understand such concepts and make the right moves along the way.

Understanding the Rules

Just like other legal processes, such as filing for divorce, rules and regulations govern the filing of bankruptcy. It is paramount to adhere to these rules to increase the chances of the application being approved. An accredited bankruptcy lawyer will have a thorough understanding of these laws and make sure that his or her client’s case adheres to them. Violating these federal regulations can result in the case being nullified or delayed. In 2005, the laws for filing bankruptcy changed, making it harder to qualify for relief. One must pass the “means test,” which essentially determines whether or not your income is low enough. This test is designed to prevent those with higher incomes from qualifying.

Familiar with Court Procedures

Most people are not familiar with the bankruptcy filing process. Experienced attorneys in this field have a broad understanding of the court procedures, including essential documents and information that should be presented to the jury. Tackling the bankruptcy process alone and trying to learn along the way can be risky. Instead, it is wise to work with an attorney who has the necessary education, background, and expertise.

Knowing Which Chapter to Choose

Two sections govern the process of filing bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. It is imperative to know what each of them entails in order to make the right choice. For example, Chapter 13 proposes a payment plan that can last for up to five years and also protects property from been acquired by the debtors. On the other hand, Chapter 7 is faster and more convenient, but applicants have to endure an income cutoff.

Finally, the bankruptcy trustee will need to see additional evidence that backs up the filer’s claims. Professional Chapter 7 lawyers will come in handy to provide, file, and double check documents and explain any sections that may be unclear to the trustee. Errors can easily result in nullification of the entire case, even before it is presented to the jury.