In the United States, people are given plenty of control over their own legal proceedings, including the option to represent themselves during personal injury claims, criminal defense trials, and even bankruptcy cases. For bankruptcy filing in particular, working with an attorney is entirely optional. But it is the same “entirely optional” as choosing to bring water for a hike into the desert; sure, you can try to do it without any water, but why would you ever want to?
Bankruptcy Pitfalls Attorneys Help You Avoid
To say that the stakes are above average during bankruptcy is a bit of an understatement. When you declare bankruptcy, depending on who and how much you owe, your most prized possessions and valuable pieces of real property could be on the line. It usually doesn’t take much convincing to see that preparation and understanding are key to a successful bankruptcy, as well as some careful stepping.
Legal pitfalls a bankruptcy lawyer could help you sidestep include:
- Unnecessary filings: So, you have decided to file for bankruptcy to clear out your debt. But are you certain that you need bankruptcy at all? Filing when there is no necessity can be a waste of time and resources that could have been spent on better, more effective solutions. A bankruptcy attorney will want to start out with every case by asking, “Is it the right step?”
- Incorrect chapter: So, you know you need to file for bankruptcy – the numbers add up in a way you cannot deny – but are you certain what Chapter of bankruptcy you need? There are several options but most people require either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Let your bankruptcy attorney review your finances, assets, and debt to determine what Chapter will benefit you the most.
- Missing documents: Legal processes and dealings with finances are usually rife with stacks of paperwork. Since bankruptcy is a legal process that directly deals with finances, you can expect to see quite a large number of forms you may have never known existed. Eliminate the guesswork and know you have all your papers in order by working with a lawyer.
- Property protection: Believe it or not, you can keep some, or all, of your property during bankruptcy. It all depends on what Chapter you file and how many state and federal exemptions you use correctly. If you want to keep as much of your things as possible – understandable, of course – allow your bankruptcy lawyer to triple-check your exemptions before your filing is finalized.
As you can see, hiring a bankruptcy lawyer for your bankruptcy filing is not so much like bringing water into the desert, but more like bringing water inside an air conditioned RV into the desert. If you are facing the struggle of bankruptcy and overwhelming debt, contact the Law Office of Kimberly A Sheek and let our Charlotte bankruptcy attorney lift some of the stress of your shoulders. With more than 10 years of legal experience, Attorney Sheek can provide all the insight and care you need to get a successful filing, if you need one at all.