Filing for bankruptcy can be a rigorous process. You will be required to produce several documents, follow several steps, and comply with various federal and state laws. If you get into a financial mess and can’t seem to find your way out, bankruptcy may be the only solution at hand. However, filing for bankruptcy will not magically wipe away all your financial problems. You will still be expected to be responsible for your financial behavior and you will also have to work hard to restore your credit score.
When you are declared bankrupt, you are likely to be desperate for a solution. Creditors may come knocking and many people will feel at the end of the rope. It is always wise to look for a bankruptcy attorney to help you save money and guide you each step in filing for bankruptcy. Here’s how lawyers can save you money when it comes to bankruptcy.
They Help to Protect Your Assets
Most people filing for bankruptcy fear losing their property. People feel attached to their prized assets that they worked hard to acquire.
This is perhaps why some people will result in desperate and sometimes illegal ways to keep their assets after they are declared bankrupt. What such people don’t know is that it is actually possible to retain ownership of assets such as your car or home in bankruptcy. When you hire an experienced bankruptcy lawyer when you are facing financial problems, they will assess your bankruptcy situation and will guide you to identify all exempt assets. Most bankruptcy laws exempt some assets from being used to pay off your debts such as your home, clothing, household items, or car.
A bankruptcy attorney who understands bankruptcy laws well will review the property you own, identify all exempt assets, and file an official petition on your behalf. An attorney will also give you the necessary information so that you avoid illegally shielding assets which can lead to criminal charges.
A Lawyer Will Disclose All Your Bankruptcy Options
Most people filing for bankruptcy are often not fully aware of the options available to them. Each situation is different, but a bankruptcy attorney will inform you that most consumer bankruptcies are filed within Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The guidelines therein outline how you can be protected from creditors, and the options you have when filing an official petition.
When your lawyer helps you file bankruptcy based on Chapter 7, you will have the chance to eliminate unsecured debt such as medical bills, some personal loans, utility bills, and credit cards. Your lawyer will guide you to identify the assets that you can liquidate to pay off debts and all the exempt assets.
Under Chapter 13, your lawyer will help you to reorganize your assets and payments and guide you on how you can avoid any fines or fees. Under the provisions, you can also pay your attorney fees. A debt-repayment plan under these regulations allows you to keep some or most of your assets when you meet all the criteria agreed upon in a court process.
A Lawyer Will Advise on Tax Refunds and Other Monies You Expect
A lawyer is best suited to guide you on how to time your bankruptcy, especially when you are expecting some money. Timing is everything in a bankruptcy case because you may actually benefit. In some circumstances, waiting for a certain duration of time before filing for bankruptcy can help you retain more money, protect the money that belongs to others, and help you keep afloat.
For instance, time limitations in bankruptcy cases can lock you out of claiming a refund from a creditor. Only a qualified bankruptcy attorney can help you navigate the complex requirements of a bankruptcy case.
A Lawyer Will Help You Comply With the Law
Bankruptcy cases usually have rigorous requirements that must be met before the case is approved. Sometimes, failure to adhere to even a few of the requirements might lead to loss of property or a bankruptcy discharge denied. A qualified bankruptcy lawyer will help you file all required documents in the case, guide you on the payment of fees, inform you of time and dates when the case will be happening and advise you to disclose all properties to avoid illegally shielding assets.
Each case is different, but often, bankruptcy cases can be very complex. You stand to benefit more from having a lawyer than going through the process alone. Amidst the desperation and uncertainty in bankruptcy, hiring a lawyer can aid in avoiding further loss of property, helping you breathe a sigh of relief.