Do I Need To Hire a Bankruptcy Attorney to File for Bankruptcy?
If you’re struggling with paying off your bills, such as credit card debts, personal loans, or if you’re facing something like a wage garnishment or foreclosure, then you may be thinking about bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy is a great way to provide yourself with relief, as well as to get out of debt. Since many people, however, are afraid they do not have the money to pay for legal fees, a question many people ask is, “Do I need to hire a bankruptcy attorney?”
What are the Bankruptcy Filing Steps Like?
Before we get to whether you need to hire a bankruptcy lawyer, it would be good to understand what the bankruptcy process process is like overall. To file for bankruptcy, a person needs to file a petition along with schedules (and likely some other forms) in the bankruptcy court for their district. Since bankuptcy law is based in federal law, you will be filing your bankruptcy case in federal court. In addition to having your bankruptcy papers prepared, you will have to complete a credit counseling course before you file. Once you have the documents ready, and you have the credit counseling certificate, you can head to your bankruptcy court (or contact them to see if you may file electronically), pay the filing fee, and file your case.
What Goes Into the Petition and Schedules?: Assets and Property, Debt, Creditors, Income and Expenses
Let me spare you the fluff. EVERYTHING should be listed and disclosed in your bankruptcy petition. Any asset or property you may have an interest in gets listed in your papers. All of your debts get listed in your documents. All of your creditors should be named and listed in your bankruptcy filing. Very importantly, an accurate statement of your income and expenses will be included in you bankruptcy documents.
Does It Matter Which Chapter I File Bankruptcy Under?
As you may be aware, there are different types of bankruptcy cases – chapter 7, chapter 9, chapter 11, chapter 13. Many, if not most, individuals, will file for bankruptcy under chapter 7 or chapter 13. You may be wondering whether there is completely different paperwork depending on the form of bankruptcy you file. The answer is that the core paperwork that you will have to prepare and file is pretty much the same, whether you are filing a chapter 7 case or a chapter 13 case. One big difference is that in a chapter 13 case, you will have to prepare and file a plan to propose repayment of debt, where you don’t propose repayment of debt in chapter 7 cases.
Must I Hire a Bankruptcy Attorney to Prepare and FIle My Case?
The answer is no, you are not required to hire a bankruptcy attorney if you’re filing bankruptcy. As a matter of right, you are allowed to prepare and file your own case.
Keep in mind, however, that there are some unique advantages that you are getting when you hire an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.
First, there’s legal advice! Experienced bankruptcy attorneys are not only aware of the laws and procedures, but hiring a skilled bankruptcy attorney gets you someone that is very familiar with the process, the trustees, and the people in the court.
Second, where you may have to spend hours researching law and how to fill in your bankruptcy papers, a seasoned bankruptcy attorney can usually have your documents prepared and ready to sign very quickly. That means your case can often be filed faster, and you can expect your debts to be discharged sooner.
Third, hiring a consumer bankruptcy lawyer means you will have someone prepare you for, and be with you, during the meeting of creditors, where the bankruptcy trustee will ask you a series of questions about your life circumstances, about disposable income, about non-exempt assets vs. exempt assets, about your use of unsecured debts. Having someone with knowledge and experience to guide you through that process is immensely beneficial.
If You’re Looking to Hire a Bankruptcy Lawyer in NYC, Contact the Law Office of Richard Kistnen
If you’re looking to get out of debt, there are no shortage of companies trying to pitch you their services. Debt consolidation services, debt relief agencies, debt relief options, negotiations with creditors – all alternatives to bankruptcy.
Here’s the thing – for many, if not most, people, filing bankruptcy will be the quickest, easiest, and most affordable way to get out of your debt. So if you are ready to get your financial fresh start that comes when you get a discharge of debts in bankrutpcy, then contact the Law Office of Richard Kistnen right now! Call the number below to schedule an appointment, or simply click here to book your consultation right now!