The Basics of Bankruptcy:

Should You Hire an Attorney?

Having to file for bankruptcy can be an extremely difficult decision, one filled with stress and trepidation. Most everyone is concerned with the consequences of filing and the reaction they receive from their peers and relatives. Sometimes one’s finances can spiral out of control and bankruptcy can often be the best solution and means to a fresh start.

What exactly is bankruptcy?

When bankruptcy is declared, an individual or business is then officially placed into a protective state under a legal status which stipulates they are no longer able to pay off their debts. One may file for bankruptcy protection to avoid harassment from creditors and sometimes even have some debts dismissed. It can provide you with a chance to reduce much of the debt burden and organize your finances once again. Occasionally a person or entity is forced into involuntary bankruptcy which occurs when creditors force the issue legally in court so as to curb their losses. But the eventual outcome of a bankruptcy filing varies between debtors. While some debtors are able to get a large sum of their debts discharged, others are able to rearrange their outstanding bills into a plan for repayment. There are many different types, laws, and proceedings related to bankruptcy, a nice resource for reviewing some of this data is on the Federal Government website for bankruptcy

Why should you hire an attorney?

Although you are not technically required to hire an attorney to file for bankruptcy, doing so can save you a lot of time, hassle and headache. Attempting to complete this process alone can result in an extended, complicated and risky situation. There are many rules and regulations associated with the process of filing for bankruptcy and hiring the right attorney can be the best decision you make in the entire process. Not only can a lawyer help you understand these rules and which apply to you, the attorney can assist by negotiating with creditors and prevent the mistakes that people often make. They can also provide guidance on staying financially stable after your filing and help protect you against harassing creditors prior to your filing.

Once you take the first step of hiring a bankruptcy attorney, you are now legally being defended. Creditors may only communicate with you by way of your lawyer and can no longer demand payments. This alone can make a dramatic impact to an individual who has encountered endless phone calls and letters from creditors demanding funds one just does not have. This is just one example of the peace of mind one receives when knowing that a professional is working the case focused on what is best for them.

In addition to reduction in your mental anguish, there are other valid reasons you should hire a skilled and competent bankruptcy lawyer.

A bankruptcy attorney will help determine the proper chapter of bankruptcy you need to file.

The fact is there are several chapters of the bankruptcy protection law available to you. It is imperative you file under the proper chapter to get the protection you deserve and require. More importantly each chapter has its own different result if you are successful in your court petition. This alone is justification for hiring the services of an expert. A lawyer can help you decide and understand which chapter you should file to properly protect yourself and your family. Normally this type of consultation is no charge. Many attorneys offer a free case review while others charge by visit or activity.

A bankruptcy professional will guide you through each step of the legal process.

When you are under a large amount of financial stress it is common to find it difficult to focus on specific matters you must accomplish, especially with our court systems. Additionally your bankruptcy counsel will help deal with creditors, gathering documentation, filing schedules requested by the court and establishing payment plans.

Your lawyer can guide you through the paperwork process.

The paperwork involved in filing for bankruptcy can be overwhelming and often difficult to understand. A good bankruptcy attorney can reduce the burden of having to decipher the plethora of paperwork during this emotionally troubling time in your life.

A bankruptcy lawyer can devise a payment plan that will satisfy your creditors.

An experienced bankruptcy lawyer will deal with your creditors and will establish a payment plan that is within your means that you can live with. Normally creditors are satisfied with the plan that is presented to them by a lawyer because it shows that you are making an attempt to pay your debts. Also the knowledge that creditors have that you have retained counsel helps stop the aggressive phone calls and collection attempts by your creditors.

Once you have decided that hiring a bankruptcy lawyer is the right thing to do, it is imperative to find a competent attorney that will best be able to help you with your case.

One of the best resources for the names of quality bankruptcy lawyers within your area is, of course, the courthouse. Visit a bankruptcy court and ask for recommendations. While you are there, try to see and experience a bankruptcy case, so you will get an idea of what to expect. This will also give you some insight on the steps a lawyer has to go through while defending you.

Word of mouth is the best source of information about the most respected bankruptcy lawyers. Consider asking your trusted friends and family and collect that information. Find out who represented them in the court and what the outcome of the case was. If you follow these steps, you are that much closer to releasing yourself from your financial turmoil and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

David Di Pietro, Esq.

David Di Pietro is the founding partner of Di Pietro Law, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.    Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy attorney David Di Pietro is a former prosecutor and handles all bankruptcy matters. The Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy law firm of Di Pietro Law, P.A. is located at the Legacy Bank Building, 12 SE 7th Street, Suite 608 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301.  Telephone: 954.712.3070.

The information in this article site was developed by Di Pietro Law, P.A. for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The transmission and receipt of information from this article does not form or constitute an attorney-client relationship with Di Pietro Law, P.A. Persons receiving the information from this article should not act upon the information provided without seeking professional legal counsel.