Just the idea of filing for bankruptcy can be a cause for anxiety and stress. Some individuals may try to go through the process by themselves, which is known as filing pro se. However, there are definite advantages to using a bankruptcy attorney when filing for either Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Experience is a key factor
Hiring a bankruptcy lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected. A bankruptcy attorney is well versed in the procedures that are necessary in filing the paperwork, which eliminates the chance for any errors in the process. The attorney has the knowledge to deal with the laws on both the federal and state level when dealing with bankruptcy proceedings.
Connections can help
A bankruptcy lawyer has already established a relationship with the various parties associated with a client’s petition. This includes other attorneys, clerks, judges, and of course, the attorney’s thorough understanding of how the court system works.
Giving key advice
A bankruptcy attorney can help you decide whether or not to file under Chapter 13 or Chapter 7. He or she can analyze your situation and determine what is the best course of action for you. They can determine what the status of your assets will be after the process is complete and they can help you determine goals for your financial future. They can also help you decide exactly what details are involved in Chapter 7 or 13.
Calls from creditors will stop
After an individual files for bankruptcy, they may still get calls from creditors. If you’ve hired a attorney, you can now refer those calls to the attorney. Plus, the attorney will handle the necessary communications that involve specific things like settlements and negotiations. The attorney will also be responsible for representing the client in all required meetings.
Protection for the client
If you file your own case (pro se), and make a mistake in the process, there’s no one to look out for your interest. Lawyers are required to have malpractice insurance; if they make a mistake on your case, you might be able to receive compensation for any losses you incurred. Therefore, you have an assurance of security when an attorney is working for you.
The attorney is going to keep you informed on everything pertaining to your case, including some issues that you might not even know about. You are required to provide your attorney all the information available for your case. They in turn will handle all the paperwork that the court requires.
Do your research and find the right attorney
Almost any attorney can take on a bankruptcy case, but it’s important that you find one that is an expert in the process and is current on the current codes. Check with the bar association and they will give you recommendations on bankruptcy lawyers who might be right for your situation. When you go to a firm for a consult, it’s important that you are given the opportunity to speak with an attorney, and not a paralegal.