Making the decision to file for bankruptcy can be emotional and difficult. For some it is the culmination of a long struggle to get their financial feet under them, or the end result of a series of unpredictable events such as a job loss or medical emergency. No matter what the circumstances that led to your debt, once you’re ready to move forward you need to decide whether to file for yourself or to seek representation from an attorney. Though it is certainly possible to address the paperwork on your own, most people find that an attorney makes the process easier. Perhaps more importantly, bankruptcy claims that are filed by attorneys have a greater chance of resulting in debts being discharged.

There are several specific aspects of the divorce process where attorneys are particularly helpful:

  • Should my bankruptcy be filed under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?

Though you may prefer to have all of your debts discharged under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, not all debtors qualify. You will need to undergo a means test, which an experienced attorney can help you with. Your attorney will also explain the advantages and disadvantages of each type of bankruptcy. Under Chapter 13 you will typically pay off your debts in three to five years rather than having them discharged.

  • Accuracy in filings.

The paperwork that is required to file for bankruptcy can be extremely complex, and the court review process is rigorous. If mistakes are made then your application may be rejected out of hand, or you may need to start over or face significant delays. By engaging an attorney you avoid the risk of making a costly or time-consuming mistake.

  • Protection from harassment

One of the most stressful aspects of being in debt is the mountain of collection notices and harassing calls and emails in pursuit of the money you owe. From the moment that you file for bankruptcy, your attorney will issue an order that will protect you from these calls, and you will have someone you can refer your creditors to.

It is tempting to represent yourself — nobody wants to pay attorneys’ fees, especially not when they’re already in debt. But hiring an attorney will make the bankruptcy process easier and put you in a position where you will have an advocate working to protect your assets.

For information on how we can help you with your specific situation, contact us today to set up a time to chat.

 

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