There are a few reasons that people delay filing for bankruptcy even though they know their finances are not in a good place. Some people put off filing specifically because they can’t justify taking on another expense in the form of retaining a bankruptcy lawyer.
Some individuals may even attempt to file bankruptcy on their own behalf just to save a bit of money. Yet, it is undeniable that the decision to hire a lawyer is often comparable to an investment in one’s future, as evidenced by the three points below.
An attorney can help to choose the best form of bankruptcy
People often jump to conclusions without having all of the possible information when considering bankruptcy. Specifically, they may decide to file for one form of bankruptcy without recognizing that they could discharge more debt with a different type of bankruptcy or possibly even pay less to file the paperwork. A lawyer familiar with bankruptcy statutes can help someone understand the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy and choose the form that would be the most effective given their circumstances.
They can maximize someone’s discharge
Maybe someone intends to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and will need to commit to a repayment plan, or perhaps there is question about the legality of including certain debts in their discharge. Those who have an attorney may have an easier time identifying the debts that are eligible for discharge and possibly reducing how much they have to commit toward a repayment plan in a Chapter 13 filing.
They can help people handle the details of the process
Small mistakes can force people to start over from the beginning with the bankruptcy filing and may result in them incurring duplicate fees. Additionally, bankruptcy requires that someone attends court hearings and creditor meetings, which might mean that they have to take multiple days off of work. For those in particularly competitive professions and those who complete work on an hourly basis, a few missed days could damage their reputation with their employer or with their clients and cost them future opportunities. Those who hire a lawyer won’t need to miss work for bankruptcy, as their attorney can represent them in many parts of the process without the need for their physical presence at every hearing.
By managing the technicalities of the process to avoid mistakes, allowing people to focus on what they do best and handling the process of negotiating with creditors, lawyers can potentially help people maximize the benefit of a bankruptcy filing. Bringing in the right support early in the process can make a big difference for those contemplating a personal bankruptcy filing.