Are you over your head with debt and at a loss as to what to do? Are you having trouble keeping up with your bills and tired of being harassed by your creditors? It’s possible that filing for bankruptcy is the best option you have right now.
When financially stressed, people are more likely to make poor decisions and accept unfavorable terms during debt negotiations. To avoid going down that road, finding a competent bankruptcy attorney from a Bankruptcy Law Center who will look out for your interests should be your priority.
Legal professionals such as Stiberman Law Bankruptcy Attorneys will evaluate your case thoroughly to determine if bankruptcy is the most viable option in your situation. Consulting a bankruptcy attorney does not mean that you will file for bankruptcy right then and there. Before resorting to that, your attorney will evaluate your situation and assess what you need most.
Bankruptcy Journey: Things You Need To Know
It would help if you first discuss some considerations with your attorney before filing for bankruptcy. In addition to reviewing your attorney’s history and experience in bankruptcy court, you should ask the following questions:
1. Is Bankruptcy The Right Choice For Me?
An experienced bankruptcy attorney can explain the bankruptcy process and how it may help you. In addition, they need to explain the various options you have and suggest the best course of action.
Bankruptcy is usually a last resort. In certain situations, what you might need is a financial rehabilitation plan. This involves exploring possibilities of debt rescheduling, debt reduction, or disposing of assets to address financial obligations. An attorney can help assess your situation, make an accounting of your assets and liabilities, and suggest the next steps you can take.
No competent bankruptcy attorney would ever advise you to declare bankruptcy if doing so wouldn’t be in your best interests.
2. What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Declaring Bankruptcy?
The advantages of filing for bankruptcy can be different for each individual. A competent bankruptcy attorney will review the pros and cons for you. Although the benefits of a clean slate provided by bankruptcy usually outweigh the potential drawbacks, there are always exceptions to the rule. For example, some people’s debts cannot be completely discharged through bankruptcy. In addition, your job prospects may suffer if you decide to file for bankruptcy.
So, take your time and discuss all the possible outcomes after filing for bankruptcy, since this decision can affect other parts of your life.
3. How Do I Know Which Type Of Bankruptcy To File For?
There are two types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, nonexempt assets are liquidated, and the money is utilized to settle your remaining financial obligations. On the other hand, if you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can restructure your debts into a more workable payment plan at a lower interest rate.
Your bankruptcy attorney should be able to tell you which form of personal bankruptcy is suitable for you after reviewing your assets, liabilities, and financial circumstances.
4. How Much Money Do You Need To File For Bankruptcy?
You should know your attorney’s fees and the bankruptcy filing fee. Inquire about the complete breakdown of costs and what the retainer will cover. Specific procedures, such as an adversary proceeding brought by a creditor who objects, will typically not be covered.
An accomplished bankruptcy attorney can assess your case and give you advice on the likelihood of any issues. You and your lawyer need to be ready for these possibilities, and you should set aside money for the probable expenses.
5. Do I Still Have To Worry About Debt Collectors?
Once you file a petition for bankruptcy, a court order (automatic stay) will be issued to stop your creditors from repossessing, garnishing, foreclosing, or in any way collecting outstanding debts and financial obligations you have. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about persistent debt collectors. They will be notified, however, of the bankruptcy proceedings and they are allowed to intervene in it.
If you feel overwhelmed by the bankruptcy process, hiring a bankruptcy attorney is a smart move. Find the most appropriate attorney by being forthright about your budget and needs. Asking probing questions can also help—this includes asking about the type of bankruptcy suited for your situation, the costs, the advantages and disadvantages, and exploring alternatives for your situation.
While consulting an attorney, you should feel at ease and be able to speak freely and frankly. If you go into the process prepared with the right questions, you should have no issue choosing a bankruptcy attorney who will treat you respectfully and put their knowledge to work for you.