What to Expect from a Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you’re planning to file for bankruptcy, you can always do so without a lawyer, bu it isn’t always a good idea. 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 how exactly a bankruptcy lawyer can help you, the following should give you a good idea:
Stage I – Planning
First and foremost, your bankruptcy lawyer will determine what type of bankruptcy case you should file. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are meant for various scenarios and objectives. For example, Chapter 7 will eliminate much of the debt in a short period, but you can’t save your house if you’re not updated with your payments. In any case, a bankruptcy lawyer will advise you on the best path to take.
Stage II – Preparation
Do you know how to assign accurate values to your belongings, such as your antique living room set or your recently purchased flatscreen TV? With a lawyer, your assets will be declared and valued as accurately as possible.
Applying for Exemptions
A lawyer can most expertly determine which state exemption rules you can use to protect most of your assets.
Some debts remain while you’re in bankruptcy. Others are only wiped out after you meet certain conditions. With a lawyer, you will clearly understand which are which.
Step III – Bankruptcy Filing
Scheduling and Paperwork
The process requires filing pages of financial details in relation to your debts, income and assets, and expenses, and your most recent financial transactions.
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 Correct and Complete 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 Automatic Stay Violators
There are creditors who just won’t stop collecting even when the borrower has already filed for bankruptcy, and this is against the law. In such a case, a lawyer will know how to make these collectors behave.
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. For a Chapter 13, your lawyer will work out a deal with your creditors as to favorable collateral requirements, payment terms, interest rates.