Going through the process of filing for bankruptcy is hard enough without having to take all of the work and responsibility on yourself. But don’t fret, that is what bankruptcy lawyers are for.
Bankruptcy filings are complex legal matters that can actually have negative affects if not handled correctly. Unfortunately, court employees and bankruptcy judges are prohibited by law from offering any sort of legal advice, i.e. any bankruptcy help.
Bankruptcy lawyers, on the other hand, should be familiar with the United States Bankruptcy Code, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy, as well as any local court rules. And considering how complicated completing and turning in the forms required to file for bankruptcy can be, there’s no shame in seeking out help with filing bankruptcy. But how exactly can they advise you on the process?:
- Should you file? The first step should always be to determine whether or not you will actually benefit from filing bankruptcy. To do so, weigh the potential consequences, which an attorney should know plenty about.
For example, while a Chapter 7 bankruptcy only costs $306 to file, there will be tax consequences down the road that will raise that expense. In the long term, you can also expect a Chapter 7 filing to stay on your credit report for up to 10 years. If you lose property through the liquidation of assets, it may be hard to get more without a good line of credit.
- Which chapter? Different types of bankruptcy have distinct operations. For instance, while a Chapter 7 filing is most often used by individuals to wipe out most or all of someone’s debt, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is typically used by businesses to develop a plan to pay off debts by undergoing financial reorganization. While either filing can actually be used by both individuals and organizations, knowing which will best suit your needs is extremely difficult without legal assistance to help with filing bankruptcy.
- When to file bankruptcy? Even though the purpose behind bankruptcy is to put you back into a better financial state, to begin a filing, you do need to be in a somewhat stable state as it is. Given the potential loss of lose assets, such as a home or car after filing, you should be sure that you have somewhere else to live, or even alternative transportation to get to your job. Otherwise, you could end up in even more debt.
With a whopping estimated 1,071,932 bankruptcy filings in the U.S. just in 2013, many people will be experiencing either the consequences or benefits of how they go about filing. Your best odds at benefiting the most from a bankruptcy are to seek out professional, legal help with filing bankruptcy.