4 Reasons You Need An Attorney When Filing For Bankruptcy

Posted on: 9 October 2015


Being in a position where you are deep in a debt that you can't repay can be incredibly stressful and make day-to-day life difficult. Trying to juggle your personal finances while being harassed by debt collectors can be mentally and emotionally draining, and bankruptcy may be the only solution to your financial problems. However, filing for bankruptcy is not a simple process, and it should not be done without the representation of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Lawyers can be expensive, and when you are deep in debt you may feel like you can't afford to pay for legal counsel, but there are several reasons that you need an attorney.

They Can Help You Understand What Chapter to File Under

Individuals can file for chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy, but if you don't have a legal background you may not know which option is best for your personal situation or which one you will qualify for. When you have an attorney, he or she will be able to review your financial situation to help you determine the right path to take. This is very important since chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy differ in many ways, and filing for the wrong one can result in a waste of your time and money. A lawyer will help you take the "means test," which will show you your disposable income, and thus which kind of bankruptcy you qualify for. Talk with a place like Wiesner & Frackowiak, LC to see which one would be best for your situation.

They Can Assist with Filling Out Your Bankruptcy Petition

Filing for bankruptcy involves filling out a number of forms that are complicated and reference different laws and codes. To a layperson, this process can be very confusing, and it is not uncommon for people who try to file bankruptcy on their own to make mistakes on their bankruptcy petition. If you want your bankruptcy petition to be approved the first time, it is essential to have a bankruptcy attorney.

They Can Gather and Submit the Required Documents

According to bnfsbankruptcy.com, one of the most common reasons a petition is dismissed is because of improper documentation. When you file for bankruptcy, you are required to submit numerous documents so the court can have a full picture of your debts and current financial situation. Collecting all of this documentation can be hard to do on your own, but a lawyer who specializes in bankruptcy is well-versed in the process and will make sure that you have all the necessary documents in advance of your bankruptcy hearing. 

They Can Help You Make the Right Property Exemptions

Property exemptions are a big part of both chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy, so if you want to keep possession of as much as possible it is imperative to work with a lawyer. Not knowing the property exemption laws in your state, or being unsure of how to value or list your property can result in you losing it during the bankruptcy process. An attorney will help you protect your assets and help you keep as much property as possible after your bankruptcy is approved.