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 your case falls under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you can end up spending more than you’d ever save not hiring an attorney.
If you want to know what exactly a bankruptcy lawyer can do for you, here are fairly good ideas:
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, most of your debts can be offset by Chapter 7, but it can’t save a house that you haven’t paid for completely. 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? With a lawyer, your assets will be declared and valued as accurately as possible.
Choosing and Applying for Exemptions
A lawyer is the best person to decide how your state’s exemption rules can be used to protect as much of your assets as possible.
Some debts remain while you’re in bankruptcy. Others can be wiped out only when specific conditions are met. With a lawyer, you will clearly understand which are which.
Step III – Bankruptcy Filing
Scheduling and Paperwork
Filing for bankruptcy requires filing pages of financial information pertaining to your debts, costs, income, assets and all your latest 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 other words, when you have a legal expert checking the accuracy and completeness of your testimony, you don’t need to worry about perjury charges.
Dealing with Creditors Who Violate The Automatic Stay
There are creditors who just won’t stop collecting even when the borrower has already filed for bankruptcy, and this is against the law. Should that happen, a lawyer can take legal action 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.