Have you thought about filing for bankruptcy because of all the debt you owe? If you maxed out several credit cards and struggled to pay them off over the past several months, the late fees and interest rates are likely drilling a huge hole in your pocket. When you cannot catch up and your debt is only getting worse, bankruptcy is a great solution. Although it leaves a mark on your credit report that will stay there for several years, it is something you can do to get a fresh start with your finances while overcoming the stressful debt situation you are in.
When you are set on filing bankruptcy because of your debt problems, you need to make sure you are completing this process with a bankruptcy attorney by your side. Having legal representation means potentially getting through the process more quickly and with less stress put on your shoulders. The process can take some time and there is a lot of paperwork involved, but your attorney will do anything possible to make things as simple and stress-free for you. You will feel much better knowing you have a legal expert to assist you with everything.
Learn More About Your Filing Options
When you hire a bankruptcy attorney to help you with the filing process, you can learn more about your filing options before officially filing a petition for bankruptcy. You need to know that there are different ways to file, and your method of filing will depend more on your personal situation. For example, if you are filing a Chapter 13, you are essentially creating a payment plan that you can afford. You are paying your creditors back, but your attorney will work with them to get the amount owed lowered a bit. When you have less to pay back and the creditors are willing to accept less money from you each month, you can save and get yourself out of debt a bit more quickly. It is a great solution for those with a dependable income source. Those without a dependable income are typically not eligible to file in this manner.
While Chapter 13 is a suitable filing option for some people, others may prefer filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Rather than paying back what you owe, you would need to sell off certain assets to obtain cash that would go to your creditors. If you have extra assets, such as numerous vehicles or other properties aside from the property where you currently live, you might be expected to sell those assets. If you do not have any assets that your creditors could receive, you may still file Chapter 7 while keeping your belongings. However, it simply depends on your situation. An attorney would advise you on the specific filing option that is likely most suitable for you based on your financial records and the amount of debt you have. It would also depend on which method you personally prefer.
Get Help Completing Paperwork
When you are filing bankruptcy, you will need to fill out a lot of paperwork. You do not want to fill anything out incorrectly. If you do complete paperwork with inaccurate information, you could have a difficult time resolving your debt issue and getting through the bankruptcy process. The great thing about having a bankruptcy attorney to oversee the paperwork that you are completing is that you will have a second set of eyes looking at everything, going over everything you have completed, and making sure that you continue to complete everything correctly.
Along with completing paperwork, you need to have several important documents with you. The essential documents include tax documents, statements from your bank account, pay stubs, and more. You should always make copies of these documents just in case you will need them again at a later time.
Ask Questions When You Have Them
When you have questions and concerns, you can always ask the bankruptcy attorney for answers to those questions that involve the bankruptcy process. Some of the questions you might initially have for your attorney include:
- Which chapter should I file based on my situation?
- Which items are exempt when filing Chapter 7?
- Will the payment plan be ideal when filing Chapter 13?
- How much is it going to cost to complete the bankruptcy process?
- Will my creditors settle for much less than what I already owe?
These are only some of the dozens of different questions you might have for your attorney. No matter what you would like to know, you can simply consult with your bankruptcy attorney to get the advice and answers you need. It is always better to ask different things because you need to know what is going on during this process, and you can only rely on a legal professional to get the most accurate answers.
Your Attorney can Negotiate with Your Creditors When Necessary
If you are going to file Chapter 13, you need a bankruptcy attorney to help with the negotiations. Your creditors want to get the money that was loaned to you. However, they have likely tacked on a lot of late fees and interest fees that have made it nearly impossible for you to pay back what you owe. If you are going to file Chapter 13, you will need to agree to a payment plan. Before agreeing to a plan, your attorney would work on negotiating with your creditors to get a better deal for you. The goal is to get the creditors to accept much less than what they are currently expecting from you. In many instances, an attorney can get the creditors to lower the amount owed by at least half, which means you would have much less to pay back over time.
In addition to negotiating with the creditors to get them to lower your debt amount, your attorney can have the debt consolidated and make sure that you will only need to make one payment each month to cover all the debt that you owe. The attorney’s goal is to get that monthly payment lowered to something you can afford.
Several factors are considered when determining how much you can afford to spend when paying your debt back, including the amount of money you are making each month and the different expenses that you have, such as rent and mortgage payments and utility bills. If you can get those payments lowered to a reasonable amount, you can work on paying off your debt and overcoming the difficult financial situation you have been in for such a long time.
Get Professional Legal Help When Filing Bankruptcy
When you are going to file for bankruptcy, you should hire an attorney to stay by your side throughout the legal process. You are likely stressed and worried about your finances because of the debt you already have and the number of creditors that keep trying to get in contact with you.
If you would like to put a stop to the harassment from creditors and you want to make a decision that is best for you on a financial level, let Bouloukos Oglesby & Mitchell assist you. We take on bankruptcy cases for clients who are ready to move forward and get a fresh start after dealing with an undeniable amount of stress due to their debt. If you are ready to consult with us, call us at 205-395-5062. All consultations are free.