If you are in deep financial trouble and are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, then you should hire a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney that can guide you through the entire process.
Here is what your bankruptcy attorney will do once you have contacted them.
Your Attorney Will Ask For All the Relevant Papers
You will first need to go for mandatory credit counseling six months prior to filing for bankruptcy.
The proof of that counseling, along with other financial papers (such as a list of all your debts, expenses, income and assets), will have to be provided to your bankruptcy attorney before they can proceed.
They will study your documentation and then advise you on the best way out of your financial predicament.
Your Bankruptcy Attorney Will Then Decide On the Relevant Chapter
Based on your financial records, your bankruptcy attorney will come to a conclusion as to which chapter is more suitable for your situation.
If you have exhausted your sources of income, then you might be advised to file for bankruptcy under chapter 7. If you have a reduced source of income and would also like to save most of your assets, then your attorney might advise you to file under chapter 13.
If you own a business and you want to continue running it, then you could file for bankruptcy under chapter 11.
Your Attorney Can Help You with the 'Means Test'
If you are filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy, then your bankruptcy attorney can help you calculate your gross and net income for the previous six months. That income will be compared to the average median income of a similar-sized family in your town.
If you do qualify to file under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then your attorney will coordinate with a trustee appointed by the bankruptcy court in disposing your assets in order to pay off your creditors.
If your income exceeds "means test" guidelines for qualifying filing a Chapter 7, then your attorney will now have to shift their attention to filing for bankruptcy under chapter 13, which requires a new repayment schedule.
This schedule will help you clear your old debts over a period of 3 to 5 years.
Your Bankruptcy Attorney Can Draw Up a New Schedule for the Court
If you need to file for bankruptcy under chapter 13, then your attorney can draw up a new repayment schedule and get it approved by the court after arranging a meeting with your creditors.
Once the repayment plan is approved, then you will need to start your payments according to that schedule.
Your Attorney Can Help You Avoid the Pitfalls
Filing for bankruptcy can be a complicated affair - and you will probably be too worried to be thinking straight.
An efficient bankruptcy attorney can calm you down and point out the pitfalls and advantages of filing for bankruptcy under different chapters after analyzing your case.
Hiring an attorney can save you a lot of time and effort. They will do the legwork involved to close your case at the earliest possible time.
An experienced, knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney is a vital asset to have on your side when you are facing financial difficulties and thinking of filing for bankruptcy.
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