How a Bankruptcy Lawyer Helps Your Case
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 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 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 best determine the state exemption rules that apply to your case, so as to safeguard most your assets.
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. With a lawyer, you will clearly understand 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. In simple terms, an attorney will make sure that your testimony is complete and accurate so you can avoid being charged with perjury.
Dealing with Creditors Who Violate The Automatic Stay
Some creditors keep collecting even after the borrower has filed for bankruptcy, which is illegal. If that happens, a lawyer will know what legal remedies to take against the creditor.
Negotiating with Creditors
Finally, if you have a Chapter 7 case, your attorney can negotiate with a secured creditor that might allow you to keep your house as well as your car. If your case is a Chapter 13, your lawyer will negotiate with creditors regarding payment terms, interest rates and collateral requirements.