Working with a bankruptcy attorney is not a requirement of the Chapter 7 filing process. The law allows you to complete and file the paperwork on your own, without the assistance of a lawyer.
That said, going that route may not be to your benefit. Here are five good reasons why you should consider hiring a bankruptcy attorney.
No. 1: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy May Not Be Your Best Option
If your bills are piling up and you’re in desperate need of debt relief, filing for bankruptcy could be a smart move. However, Chapter 7 isn’t the right choice for everyone. Depending upon your specific circumstances, Chapter 13 may be a better solution. A bankruptcy attorney can assess your situation and offer expert advice on how to get a fresh financial start.
No. 2: You Could Lose Property You Have the Right to Keep
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, some of your property may be sold in order to pay off your creditors. But if you take advantage of the Utah exemptions – and you file them correctly – you can protect many of your belongings. Without the expertise of a bankruptcy attorney, however, you may miss out on the opportunity to keep your property.
No. 3: A Simple Paperwork Mistake Could Cause Big Problems
When filing for Chapter 7, you must submit a properly prepared bankruptcy petition along with dozens of documents that support your claim. If you make a simple error on the paperwork or forget to include information regarding one of your debts or assets, your case could be delayed or even dismissed. With an experienced bankruptcy lawyer working on your claim, this won’t happen.
No. 4: Dealing with Disagreeable Creditors Can Be a Challenge
Your creditors won’t be pleased to learn you’re filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. And while most will follow the rules and stop all collection action as soon as you submit your petition, some may not. And, an aggressive creditor could ask the court to lift the automatic stay. If you don’t hire a bankruptcy attorney, you may have trouble combatting these attacks.
No. 5: Filing On Your Own Could End Up Costing You More
You may think that filing for bankruptcy on your own will save money. And assuming you complete all of the steps to the Chapter 7 process correctly, that could be true. But if you decide against hiring a bankruptcy attorney, you very well could end up paying more in the long run. And if you’re concerned about paying for legal assistance, discuss the matter during your consultation. Many lawyers, including the team at the Law Office of Davis & Jones, will work to find a payment solution that works for you.
Are you thinking about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy? If you live in northern Utah and want expert advice, contact the Law Office of Davis & Jones, P.C., and schedule a free bankruptcy attorney consultation today.