“The bankruptcy attorney can seem like a confidante when you first meet him or her, because you will be sharing your personal financial details. Normally, these kinds of details are the kind people try to hide from the world for as long as possible. But when the debt burden becomes unbearable, it’s good to have a professional on your side as you deal with the complexities of the bankruptcy laws.
The very first decision an attorney will help you make is whether you should file bankruptcy at all. In some situations, other remedies are possible including selling assets or downgrading your lifestyle. But when that’s not possible, the second decision the attorney will help you make is deciding which bankruptcy chapter best fits your situation. The personal bankruptcy chapters are 7 and 13. Under chapter 7 you wipe out most debt. Under chapter 13 you set up a debt repayment plan through the court.
Once your bankruptcy attorney and you decide that filing is the right course of action, the next step is to actually record the petition in court. Your attorney will take care of this step and all other legal filing requirements. But after the filing you will discover an attorney specializing in bankruptcies can offer a number of other services.
The bankruptcy attorney is prepared to handle any and all special issues that arise during the bankruptcy process. For example, if you owe the Internal Revenue Service there are specific forms which must be filed in order to request IRS approval of tax debt elimination. The IRS will respond by indicating which debts can be included in the bankruptcy. Other special issues include business related debts, medical bills and the state and local debt laws that must be balanced with federal laws.
When you file a bankruptcy, it also helps to have an attorney that is trusted by the courts. Experience counts in court and a recognized and knowledgeable attorney is able to handle any court requirements. When you file bankruptcy, the court appoints a trustee to represent the court. The trustee reviews the attorney’s filings and can ask any questions that he or she sees fit to ask about your financial status. Your bankruptcy attorney can guide you through the process.
Your bankruptcy attorney also deals with creditors once the bankruptcy is filed. You virtually have no more contact with debt collectors and all debt collection efforts are referred to your attorney. This alone is a valuable service, because the attorney understands laws related to debt collection and is not cowed by collection efforts.
Even after you have completed your bankruptcy, the attorney who is an expert in bankruptcies can guide you on ways to re-establish your credit. This advice is valuable, because a bankruptcy stays on your credit record for 10 years. Therefore, establishing good credit is important, because your life will not be on hold for 10 long years.
A bankruptcy attorney is a person who will guide you through the entire bankruptcy process from initial financial status review to generating new credit after the bankruptcy is completed. If you are considering filing bankruptcy then your very first call should be to a bankruptcy attorney.”