Not everybody agrees about whether or not anyone needs a chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney when they are facing a bankruptcy. There are indeed no laws that state you must get a lawyer, and it will be a personal decision at the end of the day. However, the reality is also that bankruptcies are complex legal procedures, so it will certainly benefit you to speak to a legal adviser.
How a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help You
First of all, these attorneys will help you to find out whether Chapter 13 is right for you. There is also a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and these are suitable for different situations. If you are doing your own research into these three options, you will quickly find that the legal jargon is highly confusing and that it is difficult to tell the difference between the three. Attorneys understand the convoluted ways in which laws are written, and they can explain them in a way that you can understand. Even if you only want to know the difference between the three chapters, they can benefit you.
You also need to find out how the different laws relate to you. Chapter 7, for instance, is liquidation and requires some very specific pieces of paperwork. Meanwhile, Chapter 13 is debt reorganization, and that requires very different pieces of paperwork. In both cases, you are likely to have to provide credit and billing information. A good lawyer can tell you exactly what you need to have with you.
Lawyers can also provide you with advice on any stay that is involved in your bankruptcy. A stay is a type of legal procedure in which specific creditors can no longer call you and pester you for money. While you can put that in place yourself, creditors are more likely to listen to a lawyer. Furthermore, it doesn’t apply to all creditors.
There are numerous subjects covered as part of Chapter 13 bankruptcy and a good lawyer can explain them all to you. If you don’t have a lawyer, the court will appoint you a trustee and you won’t really have a say in who that trustee is. So, although hiring an attorney is a personal decision, it is clear that they will benefit you quite significantly. Of course, the reality is also that you will be at least $1,000 out of pocket to pay for these professionals.
- Explain to you which chapter of bankruptcy law is most relevant to you.
- Tell you what documentation you need to file as part of the bankruptcy proceedings.
- Keep creditors off your back if they can.
- Ensure you get the right trustee.
- Stand up for your rights.
Those things, everyone would agree, are easily worth the money you have to pay for them. The problem is, however, that you probably don’t have that money lying around if you are filing for bankruptcy. Hence, you have to consider the pros and cons and how they apply to you.