For the last few years, the number of personal bankruptcies in the US has hovered between 750,000 and 800,000 per year — if you’re really struggling with debt, filing for bankruptcy can be the best option, but you might find it a little daunting.
A bankruptcy attorney can help you here — with everything from paperwork to legal advice they’ll be able to help you through what might be a difficult time.
What exactly does a bankruptcy attorney do, however? Keep reading our guide below to find out all you need to know.
Keep You Informed
There’s a lot to keep in mind when filing for bankruptcy. To start with, what are the different types of consumer bankruptcy, and what are the requirements you need to comply with?
Types of Consumer Bankruptcy
First up is Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy is over relatively quickly — you’ll be able to get rid of unsecured debt like credit cards and medical bills. You’ll have to liquidate your assets, apart from those that may be covered by exemptions in your state.
Then there’s Chapter 13 bankruptcy. With this type, you have the opportunity to reorganize your assets, consolidating payments and repaying your debt over the course of three-to-five years. Should you comply with the plan, you should be able to keep most of your assets.
Your attorney will be able to explain both of these in greater detail so that you can work out which is right for you.
Offer Quality Legal Advice
When it comes to keeping you informed on the legal side of things, what does a bankruptcy lawyer do?
As well as advising you on the types of consumer bankruptcy, your lawyer should let you know what you can expect throughout the entire process, and whether your case is likely to involve any specific risks or difficulties that wouldn’t be present in most cases.
Make no mistake, there’s an awful lot of paperwork when it comes to filing for bankruptcy. Luckily, your attorney should have software that will help deal with the forms and papers.
Just give your attorney the required financial information, and they can deal with it. Your bankruptcy lawyer should also be aware of local regulations regarding deadlines, so there’s no danger of delays or even a dismissal due to a missed deadline.
Once a debtor has filed for bankruptcy, they must attend the 341 meeting of creditors — it’s compulsory. However, there are other hearings that you might need to go to. Your attorney can attend, representing you too.
Other hearings might include Chapter 7 reaffirmation hearings, Chapter 13 confirmation hearings, but there are numerous others that could be filed.
Other Roles of a Bankruptcy Attorney
This is just an overview of what a bankruptcy attorney does. It’s not an exhaustive list — their job can involve everything from taking care of repossessions to handling tax refunds.
However, this is what you’ll be able to expect if you’re planning on hiring a bankruptcy attorney.
For more legal advice, be sure to check out the rest of our posts.