Bankruptcy Law: How An Attorney Can Help

by | Oct 10, 2014 | Legal Services

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Bankruptcy is a complex area of law that involves dischargeable debt, non-dischargeable debt, secured loans, assets, exemptions, etc. Yet, some companies believe bankruptcy petitions are an appropriate task for lay people. That is a big risk. Anything listed wrong may avoid discharge. Or you can lose family heirlooms and other assets. Mistakes matter and have dire consequences. Attorneys help your bankruptcy proceed successfully. Here are some specific perks an attorney can offer.

Clean Petitions
A messy petition means a long and painful 341(a) hearing. If the petition is clean and leaves little for the Trustee to ask, you enjoy a short hearing. It is not uncommon for clients with simple bankruptcies presented on well-drafted petitions to only sit in the hot seat for about one minute. Otherwise, you endure questions, end up explaining yourself, and if you did not hire an attorney—you’re facing it alone. At least when represented by an attorney, anything that might have been overlooked can be explained and remedied without drama.

Cover Your Assets
Exemptions are your friend. They define which of your assets are protected from being taken away from you in bankruptcy. Exemptions are also not exactly light reading. Assuming you stay awake reading those statutes, you are not necessarily going to have the required expertise. Without legal training, exemptions and applying them to your property on the bankruptcy petition is often guesswork.
The only way you know exemptions are correctly applied is if you hire a bankruptcy attorney.

To Your Defense If Trouble Arises
Despite best efforts, creditors file lawsuits to keep debt from being discharged. Cars get repossessed anyway. Bad things can happen and when they do, do you really want to deal with them yourself?

Hire an attorney from the beginning and not only is your bankruptcy done right, but you will have help when facing these issues. DIY is great for gardening and painting your home. It is not great for legal matters. Do not proceed with bankruptcy alone—find a good attorney.

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