The process can be lengthy and frequently daunting for the more than one million people who file for bankruptcy each year. There are court dates to meet, documents to file and creditors to notify, all under the stress and uncertainty of the economic crisis triggered by whatever underlying causes. Going it alone can seem a good idea during this economic hardship, but a good bankruptcy attorney will not only make the process easier, but can save a filer money in the long run. You can learn more at Bankruptcy Attorney-Israel & Gerity, PLLC.
For one thing, a bankruptcy lawye can help decide what sort of bankruptcy to file. Chapter 7 enables citizens to remove most types of debt, provided that a means test can be passed by the person. This is the most common form of bankruptcy, with the Chapter 7 range being close to two-thirds of all filings. Chapter 13, which requires filers to repay a smaller portion of their debt over a given period of time, typically three to five years, is the remaining one-third.
Bankruptcy lawyers can also help navigate some of the newer filing rules. Together with the Consumer Protection Act passed the same year, the Bankruptcy Fraud Prevention Act of 2005 was a measure designed to deter filers who abused the system, but had the end effect of making the process more complicated for many ordinary filers. A research by the American Bankruptcy Institute showed that this legislation pushed up 40 percent of the cost of filing for bankruptcy. It also created heaps of fresh paperwork, making it more complicated for many filers and pushing away many customers who need the new start bankruptcy offers badly.
Since bankruptcy can place much of the properties of an entity at risk, with a bankruptcy attorney, people who need help knowing their rights can find it. Bankruptcy law firms help protect filers in the process and decide what form of debt can be discharged and what type of property a filer can possess. This include jewellery, cars in a home and a certain level of equity. As part of the procedure, a person’s home itself is not always free from seizure, so an attorney can decide the best way to file and loan status to avoid this if necessary.
During the rough process, bankruptcy lawyers may also be a source of stability. They are familiar with the laws in the state of a person, and can ensure that all paperwork and debt schedules are complete before filing without errors. Since the whole process can be disrupted by a single error, filing without an attorney is a risk that most are unable to assume. Many who specialize in bankruptcy, rather than those who practice it as a sidebar to a broader practice, are the best lawyers.