There are so many bankruptcy attorneys out there now that for someone in a difficult financial situation it may be tempting to go with the cheapest one, or to attempt to file on their own. However, this can be a bad idea. Filing bankruptcy can be a stressful and emotionally draining process in the best of times. Adding the stress of figuring the complex laws out for yourself or worse, picking up after a careless attorney and it can be devastating.
The process of bankruptcy can be a complicated one. There is a great deal of paperwork that must be filled out properly and submitted by the correct deadline. An experienced bankruptcy attorney knows the ins and outs of this process and will be able to make sure everything is filed correctly to ensure your bankruptcy is not delayed or denied due to a technicality. Wading through the process for the uninitiated can seem like a full time job on its own, and one mistake can create major setbacks.
If there are any assets to be protected, it is especially important to retain a lawyer. The judge can order things like homes, vehicles, jewelry and other valuable assets to be auctioned off with the proceeds going to your creditors. A good lawyer will be able to help you protect these assets. Many people who file on their own are tempted to hide these assets or sell them to a friend for a very small value, but a good lawyer will caution against that as it will be considered fraud by the court and will bring harsh penalties. Most people filing for bankruptcy are able to keep most or even all of their material assets, but without the help of a lawyer it is much more of a risk.
In addition, your creditors have a right to attend the bankruptcy hearing and argue against it. If this happens to you, it will be very difficult to convince the judge that you deserve to be granted a bankruptcy and retain your assets. A good attorney, however, will be experienced with this and know how to argue against them and convince the judge in your favor. A reputable attorney will know what the judges and bankruptcy trustees are looking for, and be able to give them the answers they need while protecting you, their client.
The judge is also responsible for deciding which debt can be included in the bankruptcy suit. While certain debts, such as federal student loans, are exempt from bankruptcy proceedings, most consumer debt can be included. However, sometimes people are successful in their bankruptcy suit but are still left with thousands of dollars of debt that could have been forgiven–truly a lose-lose situation! A reputable bankruptcy attorney will be able to make sure that all eligible debt is included in the suit and discharged when the time comes.
Choosing the right bankruptcy attorney can be a difficult proposition. Most offer free consultations, so one of the first steps is to go talk to as many as possible. Ask a lot of questions about their background and their previous experience in bankruptcy court. Make sure you know their fees and what they promise to do for you. This will help you find an attorney who you feel comfortable with.
In short, finding the right bankruptcy attorney will save a lot of time, stress, and money. The process of filing for bankruptcy is a long and complicated one, and a good attorney will make sure it goes smoothly so you are free to start your financial life over again.
Contact Haines and Krieger of Las Vegas for more information at 702-880-5554.