There are several reasons to hire a bankruptcy attorney, even if there are forms and kits available online. Generally speaking, it can be a very complicated process that can feel overwhelming. Missing items or errors of any kind could potentially prevent a successful filing and may even lead to further complications.
An Attorney Can Help Decide Which Type of Bankruptcy to File
There are two kinds of bankruptcy that most people will file: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. An attorney can ensure you make the right decision when you’re considering your options. Your lawyer can thoroughly explain the pros and cons of both and which best fits your situation.
Chapter 7 discharges most debt and liquidates certain assets fairly quickly. To file successfully, petitioners must follow the proper steps and complete any and all paperwork that’s required. So in most cases an attorney would be beneficial to ensure the process goes smoothly.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy could allow you to hold onto assets and stop foreclosures and vehicle repossessions. It requires setting up repayment plans, potentially making this type of bankruptcy even more complicated than a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
An Attorney Can Ensure Paperwork Is Filled Out Correctly
The paperwork itself can be daunting. Making just one mistake can negatively impact the outcome. One example is not submitting the paperwork with a certificate that shows you completed credit counseling, a required step in the process. This could lead to the case being dismissed.
Another potential complication is finding out a debt hasn’t been discharged, which can happen if you forget to list when filing. Simple mistakes can end up having huge consequences.
A Bankruptcy Attorney Can Explain How Federal and State Laws May Apply
There are federal laws that apply to all bankruptcy cases. But there could also be state laws that apply, so it’s important to understand both. An attorney will have familiarity with all applicable laws.
For instance, in Texas you cannot file for bankruptcy without first going through a credit counseling course. You must complete it no more than 180 days before filing. As noted, you must provide evidence of completing the course with a certificate. But even after filing, you must take a second course (debt education), before receiving a bankruptcy discharge.
There are also state laws specific to Chapter 7, such as which property you may exempt. Petitioners in Dallas can choose between Texas’s bankruptcy exemptions and federal exemptions. These are just some of the laws that may apply.
An Attorney at Warren & Migliaccio Can Help Evaluate Bankruptcy Options
Get help from an attorney at Warren & Migliaccio if you’re filing for bankruptcy. We will evaluate your case and go over all of your options, and then help you file for bankruptcy to ensure you do so properly. Call us at 888-584-9614 or fill out our online contact form to set up a consultation about your case.