So you are considering filing for bankruptcy because you are over your head in debt. So you may think that finding the cash to hire an attorney is difficult, if not impossible. You may think, so if I do it wrong, what are they going to do to me? I’m giving up all my assets anyway.
This is not entirely true. The court must approve your application, and if you do it wrong, they might not approve it. If you are considering a reorganization filing, the odds are not in your favor if you file without an attorney. If you are filing and your chapter 7 application is not accepted, you extend the amount of time you have to deal with all the problems. If you make a mistake, that mistake might catch up with you in the future, when you thought all this was behind you.
Once you’ve made a decision to file bankruptcy the next thing you’ll need to do is find a bankruptcy attorney. Chances are, like most people, you’ve decided to file bankruptcy because you cannot meet your debts.
Why Having an Attorney is Important
Keep in mind, there are numerous people you’re going to deal with during the bankruptcy process. The Clerk of Courts, a Trustee, and a Judge to name a few. However, none of these people are there to protect your interests nor are they there to provide you with legal advice. In fact, in nearly all cases, they are prohibited from offering you legal advice.
Unless you have a solid understanding of federal bankruptcy statutes as well as the state-specific statutes that apply to your bankruptcy case, you need an attorney representing you and protecting your interests. Otherwise, you’ll have wasted not only time, but you’ll have wasted your filing fees and you could jeopardize your ability to file a new petition for bankruptcy. Keep in mind, a bankruptcy filing will also show up on your credit report – unlike a discharge of the bankruptcy, if the bankruptcy petition is denied or otherwise terminated, it will show as an open bankruptcy.
The Legal Details of Filing for Bankruptcy
There are numerous issues that you must address when you’re considering filing bankruptcy. You must claim all of your assets as well as your debts. In addition, if you’re filing to have your debt reorganized, you can’t simply use random figures about what you think you can afford. The plan must be comprehensive and must be acceptable to the courts. Most of us, without proper legal training, will have a hard time creating an acceptable plan.
There are many details, which may seem minor, that must be addressed during a bankruptcy filing. Remember, you have to meet counseling requirements if you’re filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. You’ll also need to complete a Debtor Education course before your debts can be discharged. If you considering doing it by yourself, think again. It could be a costly mistake.
Carolyn Secor P.A. focuses its practice in the areas of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Defense in Clearwater, Florida. For more information, go to our web site www.BankruptcyforTampa.com or call 727-335-7151.