When Filing Bankruptcy Attorney Assistance Is Essential

Posted on: 28 July 2020

The number of American households filing bankruptcy had been experiencing a steady decline in the aftermath of the great recession. In fact, between 2015 and 2019 the number of household or individual (non-business bankruptcy filings) had shrunk from 884,956 in 2015 to 750,489 in 2019. With many people out of work thanks to COVID-19, the number of people needing a bankruptcy attorney is expected to rise once again. The longer the pandemic continues, the higher those numbers are likely to be.  

Why Do You Need an Attorney When Filing Bankruptcy?

The one thing you need when filing bankruptcy is an attorney who is qualified to handle your bankruptcy filing. A bankruptcy attorney needs to have experience in bankruptcy law and understand the way the court works when handling these types of matters. You don't want someone who does estate planning to handle your bankruptcy case. The law is vast, and attorneys work in certain segments of the law for good reasons. You want to work with someone who understands your needs and the way the law works to resolve those needs.

If you're filing bankruptcy, attorney costs may feel as if they are more than you can reasonably afford to pay. That is why far too many seek the services of a friend or family member who practices law instead of hiring a bankruptcy attorney. However, that decision can cost you more than you'll ever know. These are a few of the reasons bankruptcy attorneys are essential when filing bankruptcy.

  1. Intimate knowledge of the exemption system in your state. Each state has its own system of exemption that allows you to keep certain properties during a bankruptcy. When filing bankruptcy your attorney should be familiar with these exemptions to spare you the painful loss of property you could have kept.
  2. Determine which debts can be discharged. Some debts can be removed completely from your record and other debts will remain.
  3. Determine if you even qualify for bankruptcy and which type. You can qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 based on your means and other special circumstances that could affect your filing.
  4. Understand the way filing bankruptcy with an attorney works. They've been through the process and can help with all states including paperwork, preparing you for what's ahead, and negotiating with your creditors.

Bankruptcy is no simple thing. In hard financial times like these, however, it can be a welcome relief to many individuals and families. Of course, when filing bankruptcy, a bankruptcy attorney can help you find even greater relief from your burdensome debts.