What a Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Do for You
If you need to file for bankruptcy, you may not use a lawyer, but that’s not always wise. Whether your case falls under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you can end up spending more than you’d ever save not hiring an attorney.
If you want to know what a bankruptcy lawyer can do to help you, here’s a fairly good picture:
Stage I – Planning
Any bankruptcy lawyer will always begin by determining the type of bankruptcy case that must be filed, depending on the specifics at hand. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are meant for various scenarios and objectives. For example, Chapter 7 will eliminate much of the debt in a short period, but you can’t save your house if you’re not updated with your payments. In any case, a bankruptcy lawyer will recommend the best course of action to help you achieve your goals.
Stage II – Preparation
Do you know how to value your possessions, such as your antique dining table or your flatscreen TV? A lawyer will make sure that your assets are disclosed and valued realistically.
Choosing and Applying for Exemptions
A lawyer is the best person to decide how your state’s exemption rules can be used to protect as much of your assets as possible.
Discharging of Debts
There are some debts that won’t be eliminated or 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 Documentation
When you file for bankruptcy, you need to file pages of financial information related to your debts, income, assets and every single financial transaction you had within the past few months (from date of filing).
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 Full and Accurate Testimony
When talking to your creditors or in court, you’ll be required to affirm the truth behind your statements or claims. Simply said, a lawyer will ensure that your testimony is full and correct so you can avoid perjury charges.
Dealing with Automatic Stay Violators
Even if you’ve filed for bankruptcy, some creditors may continue collecting, and that is a violation of the law. Should that happen, a lawyer can take legal action against the creditor.
Negotiating with Creditors
Lastly, if your case is a Chapter 7, your lawyer can propose a reaffirmation agreement or a redemption with a secured creditor that allows you to keep your home or car. For a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your lawyer will talk to your creditors regarding payment terms, the required collateral and more affordable interest rates.