Are Bankruptcy Attorneys Needed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
One of the most common types of bankruptcy in the US is Chapter 7. The appeal of Chapter 7 is that it comes into effect now, rather than drag on for years like Chapter 13. However, Chapter 7 does mean taking a serious financial hit, not to mention the impact it has on your credit score.
While it is possible to represent yourself in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the question is if you really want to. In collaboration with bankruptcy experts from Chang & Diamond APC, we have compiled a list of reasons why you probably want a bankruptcy attorney with you during your bankruptcy.
Free Consultation with a Bankruptcy Attorney
Before you outright reject the idea of having an attorney representing you, perhaps you should take advantage of a free consult which is offered by many attorneys out there. During these initial consults, a bankruptcy attorney may give you some advice and suggest the best strategy for your specific case.
If, after this, you decide to go alone, you will at least be equipped with some additional knowledge and professional tips. However, chances are that you are not fully equipped to handle what is about to happen.
The Red Tape
If you have decided to file for bankruptcy, you should know that you are in for some really complex and complicated. You will need to go through your financial records with attention to detail and knowledge of what is important and what isn’t.
For most people, this is a bit too much, which is why bankruptcy attorneys exist – they are skilled and experienced in dealing with these details which most people find confusing and difficult.
People who decide to go through the process alone have about two-thirds success rate, which is not bad, but it does require a lot from you. On the other hand, people who go into Chapter 7 bankruptcy with an attorney present have a staggering 96.2% success rate, which is a significant boost, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.
What Does a Bankruptcy Lawyer Do?
There is a lot more that an attorney can do for you other than file your claim for bankruptcy and arguing it before the court, although that is probably the best reason to have one at your side.
However, most people look at the practical things that their attorney can do for them. One thing most people filing for bankruptcy are probably tired of are the constant calls from creditors. Your attorney can help you defend from these people. Once you file for bankruptcy, your attorney can stop those calls right away.
After the Bankruptcy
Once the whole process is over, you will likely have lost some assets, but you will be free of debt. This is the time when you need to start rebuilding your credit score and remedy your reputation. You should listen to the advice your attorney gives you and in time you can get back to your normal life.
However, it is always possible that some of your creditors will attempt to cash in on the debt that was written off, hoping that your inexperience means that they can swindle you.
Your bankruptcy attorney can help with that. Talk to them and make sure that the debt was, in fact, written off. Once you establish that, the attorney can ensure that the creditors stop harassing you.
Whatever way you decide to go into your bankruptcy, you should know that this step, although drastic, can be an introduction into a new chapter of your life. All you have to do is take that initial step and follow a few simple rules, and you can get back to your normal life.