What a Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Do for You
If you’re thinking of filing for bankruptcy, you have the option not to hire a lawyer, but that isn’t always smart. Whether you’re a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, filing without an attorney can cost you more than you’d save.
If you want to know what exactly a bankruptcy lawyer can do for you, here are fairly good ideas:
Stage I – Planning
The first thing a bankruptcy lawyer will do for a client is to determine which type of bankruptcy case to file. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are meant for various scenarios and objectives. For instance, Chapter 7 will wipe out most of your debt quickly, but you won’t be able to save your home if you’ve default on your payments. In any case, a bankruptcy lawyer will tell you the best path to your goals.
Stage II – Preparation
Do you know what values to assign your possessions, from your five-year-old patio furniture to your diamond jewelry? A lawyer will make sure that your assets are declared and valued correctly.
Applying for Exemptions
A lawyer can most expertly determine which state exemption rules you can use to protect most of your assets.
There are certain debts that don’t get discharged in bankruptcy. Others may be wiped out only after you have met certain conditions. An attorney will be able to explain which are which.
Step III – Bankruptcy Filing
Scheduling and Paperwork
The process requires filing pages of financial details in relation to your debts, income and assets, and expenses, and your most recent financial transactions.
A bankruptcy lawyer can give you advice on a host of issues, such as what you should disclose, what constitutes income, which tax returns to supply, and so on.
Ensuring a Correct and Complete Testimony
When you speak in court or even during meetings with your creditors, you will swear that you’re telling the truth. In other words, when you have a legal expert checking the accuracy and completeness of your testimony, you don’t need to worry about perjury charges.
Dealing with Creditors Who Violate The Automatic Stay
There are creditors who just won’t stop collecting even when the borrower has already filed for bankruptcy, and this is against the law. If that happens, a lawyer will know what legal remedies to take against the creditor.
Negotiating with Creditors
Finally, in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your lawyer can work out a reaffirmation agreement or a redemption with a secured credit provider that lets you keep your home or car. For a Chapter 13, your lawyer will work out a deal with your creditors as to favorable collateral requirements, payment terms, interest rates.