Reasons Hiring Bankruptcy Attorneys Can Actually Be A Good Thing
They Know Which Chapter Is Better for You
There are two different types of bankruptcies, which are referred to as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. There are benefits and drawbacks to each type, and without the council of a bankruptcy lawyer, you may not choose the best option. While Chapter 7 allows you to wipe out all unsecured debt, Chapter 13 allows you to pay back your debt over time. Chapter 7 is harder to get, but Chapter 13 may not actually reduce the amount you owe. An experienced bankruptcy attorney will help you analyze the advantages and disadvantages to each chapter and how they apply to your circumstances. They will council you on which chapter is more appropriate for your situation. If Chapter 7 turns out to be the one your lawyer believes will help you the most, they will be able to walk you through the process and give you suggestions on what documents you will need to produce to qualify for that chapter.
They Already Know the Legal Process
Bankruptcy lawyers are already knowledgeable about the bankruptcy process, whereas this is probably the first time you’ve had to deal with these procedures. If you try to file bankruptcy on your own, there is a good chance you could miss a deadline or forget to file a document, which could end up delaying your bankruptcy. You certainly want to get this process over with as soon as possible, and a lawyer can help you do just that. From meeting deadlines to knowing the ins and outs of the legal process itself, bankruptcy lawyers can provide you with the proper knowledge you need to put yourself in the best situation you can when you emerge from bankruptcy. Certainly, you can research the process yourself, but hiring a lawyer who doesn’t need to research can save you a significant amount of time and stress. You can get through the entire process more quickly by using a lawyer.
They Deal With Your Creditors
If you’re considering bankruptcy, you probably have quite a few creditors contacting you in an attempt to collect your debts. This is undoubtedly stressful and can make you dread answering the phone or reading your mail. Fortunately, when you hire a bankruptcy lawyer, the harassment from your creditors will stop because your attorney will contact them for you and explain what is happening. Your stress levels are sure to steeply decline once you’ve hired your attorney. Even if you do receive a call from a creditor after you have retained representation, you simply have to tell them to contact your lawyer and provide them with your attorney’s contact information. After that, they should not be contacting you again. Your attorney’s job is to communicate on your behalf with your creditors and they take that responsibility seriously. They do not want you to get harassed and will get it to stop.
They Will Save You Money
Most people who try to file bankruptcy on their own do so because they are already in a poor financial situation and think that paying a lawyer will just make things worse. However, this is a myth, and hiring a bankruptcy attorney will probably actually save you money in the long run. First, having a lawyer will result in you receiving the best possible outcome in court because they already know how to negotiate successful bankruptcies. Second, with a lawyer, you are going to get through the bankruptcy process a lot faster than you probably would on your own. This is mostly because you won’t have to research everything before you take action, but it’s also because your attorney won’t make any costly mistakes that could result in delays or even dismissal of your case. Yes, you will have to pay for a lawyer, but it will be well worth it in the end.
They Have Better Odds of Success
Since bankruptcy lawyers only deal with bankruptcies, they already know any tricks or insider tips to success that you aren’t going to know, especially if it’s the first time you’ve declared bankruptcy. Perhaps they know the proper language to put on your application that is more likely to sway the court in your favor. Or, maybe they have specific experience with a judge and can tailor your response to them. These little things can make a big difference in success. You just don’t have time to get up to speed on everything a professional bankruptcy attorney knows about the field. Their experience and knowledge is simply immeasurable when you think about how long they’ve practiced compared to what you’re able to learn from the Internet in a few months’ time. Your case should be handled with care by someone who fully understands the process and is dedicated to making the journey easier for you.
They Won’t Commit Fraud
Of course, you’d never intentionally commit bankruptcy fraud because you are trying to resolve your debts, not make them worse by ending up in jail. However, there are so many rules to declaring bankruptcy that it can be easy to make a critical error, even if it’s unintentional, that the court may view as fraud. For instance, you have to list all your assets properly and you have to ensure you’re not hiding any money from the bankruptcy court. A bankruptcy attorney knows exactly what you need to disclose to ensure you don’t commit bankruptcy fraud. They will ask you pertinent questions to verify that all your assets are accounted for, that you haven’t had someone hold money or assets for you, and that you have disclosed all sources of income to the courts. Even unintentional fraud can land you in trouble, so it’s best not to chance it by hiring an attorney to handle the details for you.
They Give You Peace of Mind
You are already stressed enough with your financial difficulties, so you don’t need to add to your stress levels by trying to navigate the complicated bankruptcy process. Hiring a bankruptcy lawyer is probably the single best thing you can do to take the burden off your shoulders and allow them to take over the confusing maze that can be bankruptcy. You have taken the first step toward financial stability. Let your attorney take you the rest of the way.
With an experienced bankruptcy attorney on your case, you gain peace of mind that it’s being handled properly and that you won’t make any mistakes that could further cause financial problems. Your attorney will also support you through this entire process and let you know that you aren’t a bad person because you have to file for bankruptcy.
They will treat you like family and truly care about the outcome of your case and your emotional well-being. Bankruptcy is not a simple solution to a financial problem, but it is a solution that can work if you know how to navigate the process.
Understanding the Benefits
There is no legal restriction against representing yourself when you file for bankruptcy, but experts including the United States Courts recommend that you retain legal counsel to increase your chances of success. If you choose to represent yourself, you will be expected to have complete knowledge and understanding of the legal process as well as any laws pertaining to your situation. Court proceedings are complicated and confusing to have to endure on your own. You do not want to have to filter through paperwork and other complex issues on your own, especially if you are already facing the stress of living in debt. Allow our team to work with you and provide you our legal assistance that is both efficient and cost-effective.
Protection from Creditors
An attorney can take immediate collections defense actions to protect you against wage garnishment and repossessions. This can provide relief for you from the stress and worry of creditor harassment.
Clear Guidance throughout the Entire Process
One of the most significant advantages of hiring an attorney is that you will not have to wonder whether you are correctly managing the situation. An attorney will also take care of the paperwork, help you gather the necessary documents, and represent you in court as well. Throughout the bankruptcy process, an attorney will look out for your best interests and strive to help you eliminate the maximum amount of debt possible.
Advantages and Disadvantages to Bankruptcy
Declaring bankruptcy gives individuals or businesses that are unable to pay their debts a way to solve their financial difficulties. It can help them start rebuilding their credit and lives in a more positive and financially stable way. In most cases, filing for bankruptcy seems like a scary and overwhelming task. However, it is often the right choice.
What are the Advantages to Filing for Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is designed to provide relief for those that are unable to pay their creditors back. Listed below are some of the advantages that bankruptcy can provide:
Filing for bankruptcy will trigger an “automatic stay” — the automatic stay stops creditors from taking action to collect their debts, and stops creditors from repossessing property such as cars, and personal property. It also prevents creditors from calling you, suing you, or sending you letters.
Filing for bankruptcy puts a stop to many evictions, foreclosures, wage garnishments and utility shutoffs.
You may be able to discharge your obligation to repay some of your dischargeable debts.
Your credit may improve. After filing for bankruptcy, your debt to income ratio will improve which is a factor in determining your credit worthiness.
While a bankruptcy filing will remain on your record for 7-10 years, because debts can be discharged in bankruptcy, many debtors begin improving their credit rating after filing for bankruptcy.
Most people that file for bankruptcy find relief knowing that they have a fresh start. While this may not seem like a huge advantage, filing for bankruptcy allows you to start fresh and be mentally freeing.
If you don’t have credit cards, you can learn to live within your income and prevent future financial catastrophes.
Debtors that file for bankruptcy will have access to financial counseling which will give you access to the tools to better balance your debt and manage your life.
In a claim for bankruptcy you will be able to hold on to certain assets and manage your payments in smaller sums.
What are the Disadvantages of Filing for Bankruptcy?
Although bankruptcy has many advantages as stated in the section above, it also has repercussions that can negatively affect your lifestyle and your long term financial situation. Because of the list of disadvantages, you should think hard about whether filing for bankruptcy and whether it is the right thing for you to do. Issues like employers knowing of your bankruptcy can be a downside of filing for bankruptcy. Listed below are some of the most important and common disadvantages:
If you are unable to exempt all of your personal property or real estate under the bankruptcy exemptions, some of your property may be seized by the bankruptcy court and sold to pay your creditors.
Your bankruptcy will be noted on your credit report for up to 7-10 years.
Many credit card companies will automatically cancel your credit cards when you file for bankruptcy and this may lead to having difficulty getting new credit cards or lines of credit.
Because bankruptcy is a public filing, a recent bankruptcy may hurt your ability to obtain a mortgage or loan for several years as it will be seen as a red flag to banks.
Your tax refunds from federal, state or local governments may be in jeopardy or denied based on your bankruptcy.
If you are seeking a job or housing, some employers or landlords may look unfavorably on a recent bankruptcy filing.
If you are a member of a corporation, you may be precluded from being named a director for limited liability companies.
After your bankruptcy, many debts, such as student loans, different types of tax debts, liens, support orders (including child support and alimony), federal and local taxes, or fines may be non-dischargeable.
When filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need to wait if you want to file again for at least 8 years. Therefore, if more financial difficulties pile up, you will be stopped from filing for bankruptcy again for some time.
It can negatively impact a search for employment, because filing for bankruptcy is a public record and can be seen by potential employers.
If you have any joint accounts, creditors can demand payment from the non-bankrupt debtor or any cosigners on those accounts.
Filing for bankruptcy has a negative mental effect on some who might find it embarrassing.
While the last point might seem small, compared to the other disadvantages, bankruptcy often carries a stigma, which can affect your professional and personal life. However, the benefits of bankruptcy often outweigh the disadvantages.
Should I Contact a Bankruptcy Lawyer?
Whether bankruptcy is the right solution for your financial problems will depend on your situation, the type of debts you have, and how much property you need to protect. If you are considering bankruptcy, you should consider discussing your options with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. As with all court cases it is possible to represent yourself “pro se”; however, the majority of people who file bankruptcy in Utah do so with the assistance of an attorney.
Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506