8 Benefits of Having a Chapter 13 Attorney on Your Side

Posted by William Kain on June 5, 2014 at 10:34 AM
William Kain

Yes, you can file your own bankruptcy case; however, you probably will not get the results you want as efficiently as is possible. Filing a bankruptcy case can be a very complex matter, especially if it is a Chapter 13 case. In addition to filing the bankruptcy petition, schedules and statements that are required in all bankruptcy cases, you must also create and propose a repayment plan. Repayment plans are complex and require more than simple math to calculate. The benefits of having a Chapter 13 attorney far outweigh the costs you think you might save by trying it alone.

Benefits of Hiring a Chapter 13 Attorney

chapter_13_attorney_on_your_sideSome of the top reasons you want a Chapter 13 attorney to represent you include:

#1: Experience – This is probably the very top reason for hiring a Chapter 13 attorney. You want a bankruptcy attorney with the experience and knowledge to represent your best interests against the court and your creditors. Because a bankruptcy attorney deals with these types of situations every day, he or she is able to find the best possible solution to your debt problem. Your bankruptcy attorney knows how to work within the law to help you obtain the debt relief you need.

#2: Protect Your Assets – Filing a bankruptcy is not simply about discharging debt – it is also about protecting your assets. By understanding and utilizing bankruptcy exemptions where appropriate, your attorney can help protect the assets that you have worked so hard to accumulate. Asset protection is a very important reason to have a Chapter 13 attorney on your side when filing a bankruptcy case. If you do not claim the correct exemptions, you could end up paying more to your creditors than necessary.

#3: Complete the Required Forms – Chapter 13 attorneys and their staff understand how to accurately complete the complex bankruptcy forms required to file a bankruptcy case. These forms can total 60 pages or more, depending on the case. Knowing where to include all required information is essential in completing the forms, as is knowledge of bankruptcy terms and bankruptcy law. You are signing your bankruptcy forms under oath with penalty of perjury, so you want to make sure that you have someone with the experience necessary to ensure your bankruptcy forms are accurate and complete. If your forms are incomplete or inaccurate, your case will be delayed at the very least, if not thrown out of court completely.

#4: Understanding Bankruptcy Laws – The Bankruptcy Code is lengthy and has its own set of rules that must be followed in addition to complying with bankruptcy laws. Furthermore, each bankruptcy district typically has its own set of local rules that each debtor must follow. Attorneys without bankruptcy experience may tell you that they do not have the experience necessary to represent you in bankruptcy court. If professionals experienced in law won’t take your case, do you think you are prepared to try it alone. Having an experienced Chapter 13 attorney will give you the best chance of having a successful outcome in your case simply because he or she has studied the Bankruptcy Code and has dedicated his or her practice to helping individuals find the debt relief they need through bankruptcy.

#5: Reduce Stress – If you have been dealing with overwhelming debt, aggressive bill collectors and creditors calling you every day, you are likely suffering from a great deal of stress. Instead of adding to this stress by attempting to file your own bankruptcy, or use an attorney who has no bankruptcy experience, trust a Chapter 13 attorney to file your bankruptcy case. Having a Chapter 13 attorney on your side will reduce your stress level simply by walking you through each step of the bankruptcy process and answering your questions.

#6: Affordable Chapter 13 Plan Payments – There are some ways a Chapter 13 attorney may be able to reduce your bankruptcy payments too, i.e. voiding liens, valuing liens or lowering interest rates. If you are not experienced in calculating a bankruptcy plan, you may not be aware of all of the strategies available for lowering a bankruptcy payment. Hiring a Chapter 13 attorney will save you money by ensuring you propose the most ideal repayment plan for your circumstances.

#7: Avoid Mistakes – Unless you know the Bankruptcy Code like the back of your hand, understand bankruptcy exemptions and understand each deadline set forth in local and Bankruptcy Court Rules, you are likely to make mistakes. These mistakes could be minimal, but they could also end up costing you thousands of dollars in lost assets or higher plan payments. Furthermore, you may make a mistake that could result in the dismissal of your case (and you may not be able to file another case for a set period of time). Are these risks you are willing to take? Having a Chapter 13 attorney on your side ensures that these mistakes won’t happen.

#8: Someone That Understands – A bankruptcy attorney deals with cases like yours each day; he or she understands the financial and emotional stress that you are under. Having someone who understands and sympathizes (instead of blames and accuses) will help ease your stress and give you the confidence you need to take control of your finances.

Free, No Obligation Bankruptcy Consultations are Available

It’s time to stop letting debt ruin your life and admit you could use some help. Before making any final decisions or filing final forms, request a free, no obligation bankruptcy consultation. Discuss your situation with an experienced Chapter 13 attorney and talk through the bankruptcy filing process. Get a good understanding of what you are about to embark on before you decide the path you take.

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Topics: Bankruptcy, Chapter 13, Attorneys

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