If you’re planning to file for bankruptcy, but are unsure about hiring the legal services of a bankruptcy attorney, read on to find out which bankruptcy cases most require legal assistance from a bankruptcy lawyer.
Bankruptcies stem from different circumstances, and there are different types of bankruptcy to suitably cater to every bankruptcy case. Hiring bankruptcy attorneys isn’t mandatory in bankruptcy filings. As a rule, the need rises in proportion to the complexity of the case. Nonetheless, getting legal advice and guidance from a bankruptcy law attorney is always an advantage, no matter how simple and straightforward the particulars are.
What’s Expected of Bankruptcy Lawyers?
Lawyers are tasked to protect the rights of their clients and look after their best interests. In bankruptcy, the lawyer works to get the best possible result from the bankruptcy process. Legal aid is generally extended in the following ways:
- Case review and evaluation to determine the best bankruptcy options for the filer.
- Explanation and description of bankruptcy proceedings, depending on the chosen bankruptcy chapter.
- Completion of bankruptcy forms and preparation of bankruptcy petition.
- Filing of petition for bankruptcy with the bankruptcy court.
- Preservation of precious assets in accordance with bankruptcy exemptions.
- Representation at the Meeting of Creditors.
- Communication with creditors who ignore the automatic stay and persist in debt collection.
- Prevention of case dismissal by the court.
Bankruptcy without a Lawyer
It’s definitely possible to file bankruptcy pro se or without legal representation. Many Arizona debtors riddled with financial problems think twice about paying attorney fees if they can actually file on their own.
As mentioned, if the debtor has a simple and straightforward petition that has very low chances of being dismissed, filing can be done without the help of a lawyer. Filers who aren’t risking valuable assets, being accused of fraud, or are filing under Chapter 7 are typically the best candidates for filing bankruptcy pro se. It’s important to take note, however, that the process consists of a lot of tedious work that would go more smoothly with assistance and guidance from a lawyer.
Filers who can spare some money for help might want to hire a non-lawyer bankruptcy petition preparer instead. A regular petition preparer’s services include help with the completion of forms and the submission of the correct documents. They don’t include legal advice on the choices the filer has to make or guidance and representation throughout the process.
When a Lawyer Is Necessary
There are cases, of course, that requires the filer to hire a lawyer. Legal counsel is essential with Chapter 13 or business bankruptcy filings, as well as filers who have certain assets of considerable value, are being accused of fraud, or are simply too confused about the process.
Legal aid becomes imperative when the filer is accused of bankruptcy fraud by the bankruptcy trustee. Such an outcome could incur civil and criminal penalties. Hiring an attorney from the get-go significantly diminishes the possibility of this happening.
Bankruptcy laws are different from state to state, so the guidance of an Arizona bankruptcy lawyer is invaluable in achieving the best possible outcome for a case.
Continued Help after Bankruptcy
Many bankruptcy attorneys extend their assistance even after a bankruptcy discharge. Some guidance may still be necessary as bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily get the debtor completely out of debt. For instance, Chapter 7 lists fewer dischargeable debts. This means that there are different types of debt that may linger even after the case is closed, including:
- Government student loans
- Child support and alimony
- Cooperative housing fees
- Debts from causing injury to another while driving a motor vehicle
- Certain tax debts
- Government fines
- Government tax liens
Even with Chapter 13’s super discharge, the filer may still not come out of bankruptcy totally debt-free. Nonetheless, the debt relief it brings should be significant enough to give a debtor a fresh start with valuable debt management lessons as well to secure a healthier financial future, even with bankruptcy temporarily marring his or her credit report.
For Help with Bankruptcy, Contact an Arizona Bankruptcy Attorney Today!
If you’re in serious financial distress, bankruptcy may be the solution to your situation. To get started working toward a good bankruptcy outcome and avoid any mistakes, consult a bankruptcy law attorney for advice and assistance. Call us now at Zolman Law to schedule a free consultation with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.