If you are having serious financial problems, then you are probably looking for a way to break through the clouds of debt and let the sun shine through. As you search for a way out of debt, you may be asking yourself two questions. The first question is: should you file bankruptcy? The second question is: If you decide to file bankruptcy, do you really need a lawyer to file bankruptcy?
Should You File Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal way to eliminate your debts. It is a last resort for people who are overwhelmed with debts which they have little hope of paying. Filing bankruptcy also stops creditors from contacting you in an effort to collect debts. Once you have been discharged you can move on with your life more or less debt-free. Our firm has a free, no obligation Bankruptcy Evaluation if you are curious about whether bankruptcy is the right choice for your situation.
What Are Some Types Of Bankruptcy?
There are two basic types of bankruptcy; chapter 7 and chapter 13.
- Chapter 7 bankruptcies are liquidation bankruptcies. In this type of bankruptcy certain assets may be sold off to pay creditors under the direction of a bankruptcy trustee.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcies are an option for debtors who have a high enough income to pay their bills, but may need to restructure their debts to make them more manageable. In chapter 13 bankruptcies the debtor makes one court supervised payment to creditors called the plan- and usually keeps assets such as a house or a car.
Filing bankruptcy has a negative effect on your credit score. A lower credit score will make it difficult to secure loans and make large purchases in the future. Bankruptcies appear on your credit report for 7 to 10 years for chapter 13 and chapter 7, respectively.
The benefits of filing bankruptcy should be weighed against the negative effects before filing. It is important to speak to someone who can advise you of the best option for your specific situation; which brings us to the second question
Why Hire A Bankruptcy Attorney?
It is true that you can file bankruptcy without an attorney. All that is required is to fill out the necessary paperwork, file it and appear in court on your own. However, if you choose to move forward without an attorney
- You will be responsible for following all the regulations of the Bankruptcy Code and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.
- Any mistakes you make when filing are your responsibility.
- If you miss a deadline or fail to respond to an action correctly, then your bankruptcy may not be discharged.
- You run the risk of having your bankruptcy dismissed.
- It is considered bankruptcy fraud if you fail to disclose assets in a bankruptcy. Bankruptcy fraud is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by fines and jail time.
- You may lose assets that otherwise could have been protected
Hiring a bankruptcy attorney solves all of these problems. Bankruptcy attorneys know the rules and regulations regarding the bankruptcy process and are much less likely to make mistakes. A bankruptcy attorney will also make sure that your filing adheres to the necessary regulations and files the necessary paperwork with the court system. Finally, a bankruptcy attorney can advise you of the best way to ensure that you keep as much property as possible, or even advise you of options other than bankruptcy which may be a better fit for your situation.
If you are considering bankruptcy then take advantage of a free bankruptcy consultation provided by O’Connor, Acciani & Levy Co., LPA. Our bankruptcy attorneys can help you decided the best course of action for your specific situation. Our experienced attorneys can help you eliminate your debt and advise you of ways to keep valued possessions. Call us toll free at (877) 288-3241.