Why You Should File for Bankruptcy with an Attorney
November 10, 2016 | BANKRUPTCY
When most people think of attorney services, the first thing to come to mind is cost. Depending on your needs, the cost of an attorney can seem well outside your budget, and when you’re filing for bankruptcy, this can be a real concern.
In order to save money, many people consider filing bankruptcy on their own. This is technically possible, but it isn’t a good idea. Instead, you really need professional bankruptcy guidance from a knowledgeable attorney.
Here are just a few reasons why, when filing for bankruptcy, an experienced attorney is a must.
Which chapter should you file under?
You don’t just wake up and decide to file bankruptcy. As with most legal situations, things are more complicated than you might expect. When it comes to bankruptcy, that means figuring out which chapter to file under. Without a thorough understanding of the Bankruptcy Code and its benefits and pitfalls that task is almost impossible.
You may know that Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the most common, but there are other chapters as well, depending on your current situation. Not only do you have to choose the one that most closely supports your financial goals, but you must also consider how each chapter will affect your credit and your assets. Filing for bankruptcy with representation from an experienced attorney ensures you choose the chapter that’s right for you. The Nesbitt Law Firm, with offices in in Columbus and Dublin, Ohio serves clients as close as next door and as far as those who travel from outlying counties such as Logan, Coshocton, and Jackson County to name only a few.
There are extenuating circumstances in your case
Financial situations are very rarely cut and dry. Instead, there are many factors that go into filing for bankruptcy, and only an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you understand how your particular situation will impact your current filing and your financial future.The Difference Between Chapter 7 and 13 Bankruptcy
A seemingly simple Chapter 7 case can quickly become complicated when you:
- Have annual income above the median level of your state or disposable income
- Have unexempt assets
- Have creditors who are making claims against you, especially when fraud is involved
- Have paid your creditors recently or have transferred assets out of your name
Further, it is imperative that if your situation fits more closely under Chapter 13, you seek bankruptcy advice from an attorney. Nearly all Chapter 13 cases that are filed pro se are dismissed by the court.
There’s a lot of paperwork to fill out
Assume you know you need to file under Chapter 7 and you have no extenuating circumstances. You have a “simple case.” It’s still a good idea to hire an attorney if only to help you fill out all that paperwork!
No matter how simple you believe your financial situation to be, gathering documentation, researching all the possible bankruptcy and exemption laws, and filling out piles of paperwork properly is time consuming. If your paperwork is not correct, complete and filed properly, your case will be dismissed and you’ll be back too square one – with a bankruptcy on your credit and no relief. An attorney can help you save a lot of time, and can help you save money in the long run by preserving your time, preventing multiple filings (filing fees alone for Chapter 7 are $335) and by ensuring you have the tools you need to move forward with your new financial fresh start so that you do not get back into financial distress.
Help ensure financial success after bankruptcy has been granted
Just because you have been granted a bankruptcy discharge doesn’t necessarily mean that you no longer have to pay past creditors anymore. Depending on the terms of your case, you may be required to pay certain bills, even under Chapter 7. The most common example is student loans and certain tax debts.An experienced bankruptcy attorney will be able to tell you how to proceed after your filing to make sure that you are aware what debts remain and how to set up favorable repayment terms going forward.
The Nesbitt Law Firm, with offices in Columbus and Dublin, Ohio is here to help. If you are looking for bankruptcy guidance, or if you are ready to file,