Consult A Bankruptcy Attorney When Considering Chapter 7 Or Chapter 13

Nowadays, all you have to do is turn on the news and hear the bad economic news, with unemployment continuing to rise. Even though the government threw $1 trillion at the economy there has been no positive response. It’s no surprise that over 1.5 million people filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and those expected to file in 2011 will continue to rise. With all the alternatives to debt elimination being advertised, still the most popular to get rid of crushing debt, is to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Constant phone calls from creditors all hours of the day and night along with threatening letters, it’s easy to see why people choose bankruptcy to stop this madness.

For the individual that has had an unexpected financial catastrophe, like a job loss, illness or divorce, filing bankruptcy can help relieve some of the stress that the creditors are putting on them. Being in this situation is not fun and perhaps the day has come that you need to pick up the phone and call a bankruptcy attorney for a free consultation and see if you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

It’s important to get all of your bankruptcy questions answered before filing, and that’s why individuals should get legal counsel. When consulting with a bankruptcy attorney, always be upfront when explaining your situation to make sure that the attorney understands the whole financial picture. When deciding on a bankruptcy attorney to hire, remember to find someone who has good references and extensive experience in bankruptcy law. With the downturn of the economy, there have been many lawyers who see the opportunity to make some money.

Usually, these attorneys have very little experience in bankruptcy law and your results may suffer. If you think this is an attorney that you might want to hire, go over the fee schedules and ask questions if there will be additional fees for preparing extra documents or amendments. It’s best to find out the total cost that you might incur by hiring this particular bankruptcy attorney. If you’re going to have to pay someone a couple of thousand dollars, don’t be afraid to take the time to make your decision, and even interview multiple attorneys if necessary.

After making the decision selecting your bankruptcy attorney, you will be responsible to gather a gaggle of information and take it to the attorney’s office. Many people that are filing for bankruptcy feel unnecessarily intimidated when they are required to go into the attorney’s office. People need to remember that they are the client and that the attorney works for them. Being afraid to ask all the questions you have might come back and haunt you after the bankruptcy is discharged. Leaving something out because you feel it’s unimportant or you don’t want to waste the attorney’s time, might be something that can change the direction of your case.

That’s why it’s important to select a personable bankruptcy attorney that is easily accessible and willing to answer all of your questions. One should also be comfortable with the attorney’s staff, as much of the time the individual will be dealing with attorney’s paralegal. Filing for bankruptcy can be a stressful time in your life, but finding the right legal help can make the process fairly quick and pain-free.

Patience Is a Virtue When Dealing With Your Bankruptcy Attorney

When a person is filing bankruptcy, their whole world seems like it’s going upside down. The only focus they have is on getting that bankruptcy discharge and getting the creditors off their back. During these stressful times many people continuously call their bankruptcy attorney with problems or to ask stupid questions. While they don’t believe the questions are stupid, in the big scheme of things they are wasting the time of the attorney. Overbearing clients can cause a rift between the bankruptcy attorney, the law office staff and the client.

The attorney knows the timeline that needs to be to get a successful bankruptcy discharge and usually is on top of things. It is best to let the attorney do their job and not bother them unless you are being harassed by creditors. If the bankruptcy has already filed and creditors are continuing to call, the individuals should call the bankruptcy attorney and make them aware of the automatic stay violations. Most of the time, a staff member from the law office will call the creditor and make them aware of the bankruptcy filing. This usually will stop them from calling.

Because of the relationship and the time frame it takes to file bankruptcy, it’s important that people need to take the time to look for a bankruptcy attorney that they get along well with. The entire process of filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes about 4 to 6 months of someone’s life. Because someone’s life is turned upside down, they are very hypersensitive during this time frame. If the person filing for bankruptcy finds an attorney they trust, they will be able to chill out and let the attorney do their job. If there is no trust or relationship there, the individual will try and micromanage the law office making everybody mad. This is not the way to have a successful bankruptcy filing. When someone becomes a problem, typically, the bankruptcy attorney will stop calling the individual back and the fight will be on. The old statement, patience is a virtue should be taken to heart because this process doesn’t happen overnight.

My personal belief is hiring a bankruptcy attorney should be looked at the same as putting a sports team together. If all the members don’t work together successfully, the outcome will be shown in the results. There will be important items that might slip through the cracks because the dynamic of the relationship has gone south. In today’s complicated legal system it is much better to rely on the expertise of a bankruptcy attorney then trying to go it alone. Try to keep in mind at all times the reason of why the attorney was hired in the first place.

What Can You Expect From a Good Bankruptcy Attorney?

If you have filed for bankruptcy or you’re thinking about it, it’s a good idea to obtain the services of a bankruptcy attorney. A bankruptcy attorney can help you wend your way through the legal ramifications of a bankruptcy because he or she will have knowledge you may not have.

You can do some of your bankruptcy work yourself, it still helps significantly to have a bankruptcy attorney look over your documentation and make sure everything is in order before you file. You also need to know your rights as someone who is filing for bankruptcy, and an attorney can help you make sure that you get all of your rights met and keep whatever you’re entitled to as well.

In addition, a qualified, experienced and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney is going to have many insights you do not have. For example, they can make suggestions or recommendations as to what other options you may have which may be much better for you than facing the long-term negative effects of bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy laws have changed in the last few years, so that today, it’s harder to file for what’s called “Chapter 7” or liquidation bankruptcy than it used to be. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is basically what used to be called “straight bankruptcy.” With this, those who file for bankruptcy turn over any nonexempt assets for liquidation to creditors, and then debts are paid off with these liquidated assets. When the proceedings are over, the debtor is completely exempt from further pursuit by creditors and the debt is completely discharged. A bankruptcy attorney can tell you whether or not you qualify for this particular type of bankruptcy. If you do, it’s generally advised that you take advantage of this type of bankruptcy, since it will exempt you from any further responsibility for these debts once the bankruptcy is complete. However, be advised that you will lose nonexempt assets for liquidation, including perhaps your house. Therefore, the pros are that you are completely “forgiven” your debts, but you may have to start from scratch.

Also you need to be aware that there are certain types of debts such as tax liens, student loans, child support and others that cannot be discharged by any form of bankruptcy, so if this type of debt makes up a major portion of your indebtedness, declaring bankruptcy is not going to help you in the least.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the other major type of bankruptcy that most debtors look to file for today. With new bankruptcy laws, most states will not let you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you have a regular income. What this type of bankruptcy says is that you’re not going to be forgiven your debts. Instead, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is what is known as “reorganization” bankruptcy for debtors with an income. With this, you are allowed to keep most assets, including your house in most cases. However, you’re going to have to make payments to your creditors through a trustee over a period of several years, usually, until the debt is paid off. A plan is drawn up for the repayment and then a court approves or disapproves of it, based upon whether or not it meets bankruptcy code requirements for confirmation.

Again, obtaining a bankruptcy attorney is a good idea to help you determine what type of bankruptcy you qualify for and which is best for you. Be advised, though, that bankruptcy attorneys aren’t free and even if you are facing financial hardship, you’re still going to have to come up with attorneys’ fees of roughly several hundred dollars to have a bankruptcy attorney handle your matter for you. Still, it’s money well spent so that you know you’ve done everything you can to make your bankruptcy proceedings go as smoothly as possible. After that, of course, you can get on with your life. Most people who file discover that they have saved much more than the amount of the attorney’s fees in terms of the money and assets they were able to retain, based on the attorney’s intimate knowledge of the new bankruptcy laws.