Filing for bankruptcy can be a tedious and frustrating process. However, it provides a fresh start for consumers and businesses in financial distress. Bankruptcy allows them to liquidate assets through chapter 7 bankruptcy filings or establish repayment plans under chapter 13 of the code.
The Administrative Office of US Courts reports that over 774,940 bankruptcy filings were made in 2019. Non-business filings constituted 97% of all chapter 7 bankruptcies and 99% of all chapter 13 bankruptcies.
Bankruptcy laws are quite complex. The process is tougher for individuals not acquainted with the code. Worrisomely, approximately 9% of these filings are without the help of a bankruptcy lawyer. While you may decide to DIY, it may not be a wise option for you. Here are five reasons why you need a debt negotiation attorney.
1. Critically Assess Your Options
The decision to file for bankruptcy should not be taken lightly. Your filings may hurt your credit scores and future finances. Again, bankruptcy may not be right for everyone. A bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine alternative options to manage your overwhelming debt. The attorney can explain the outcomes of each measure, allowing you to make an informed decision.
2. Understand Whether to File for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13
There are profound differences between chapter 7 and chapter 13 filings. A bankruptcy lawyer in Phoenix, AZ, can assess your financial situation and advise you on whether to file for chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you choose to go ahead with the bankruptcy filing, the attorneys can guide you through the frequently misunderstood process.
3. Handle Your Paperwork
There is a strict code that governs the application for bankruptcy protection. The US Courts point out that anyone wishing to apply without the help of a bankruptcy lawyer is expected to know and understand the US bankruptcy code and relevant procedures. Simple mistakes on your paperwork may lead to delays or, worse, your case getting dismissed. Bankruptcy attorneys are well-versed in how to correctly fill the necessary forms before the set deadlines.
4. Fair Representation in Court
Statistics show that individuals who file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy on their own are successful approximately over 50% of the time. This statistic does not include whether or not the unrepresented filer had to turn over assets to the bankruptcy estate. An individual filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy without an attorney is in an even worse situation. Success rates for a self-represented debtor are approximately 3%. A bankruptcy lawyer has handled similar cases before and is familiar with courtroom etiquette. They can counsel you on how best to answer the judge’s questions and make all the necessary legal preparations. The law firm can also help you handle contested motions. Creditors can file motions or objections to the automatic stay or discharge. An unrepresented filer without any knowledge of court procedures may be at an unfair disadvantage facing the creditor’s attorney. Bankruptcy lawyers in Phoenix, AZ can help you mount the right defense for your case.
5. Protect You from Creditor Harassment
Once you hire a bankruptcy lawyer, you may gain protection from harassing creditors and collection agencies. All calls and communications will now go through the lawyer. You also receive an automatic stay after an official filing, further protecting you from the incessant calls. The automatic stay stops these calls and stops all collection efforts in the vast majority of cases. Additionally, the attorney may help you understand property exemptions. You may avoid losing certain items of property.
If you are under financial distress or struggling with insurmountable debt, call Phoenix bankruptcy lawyer Larry Karandreas. Larry will listen to your case and help you eliminate your debt, providing you with a fresh start.