I am going to assume that you are seeking a bankruptcy lawyer because you have already exhausted all other possibilities to avoid filing bankruptcy. If you have not yet done that, I would strongly encourage you to thoroughly investigate all other options and alternatives, since bankruptcy should be considered only as your very last resort. A filing of bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 7 to 10 years, and it will be a major red flag any time you apply for credit or a loan in the future, as well as having the possibility of you not getting a new job based on a credit report run on you.
It is not entirely necessary to hire a lawyer or attorney when filing for bankruptcy, but in the vast majority of cases, it is highly advisable to do so. The various legal forms and requirements can be a full time job for someone who is not intimately familiar with the legal system, and one wrong move can mean the difference between favorable terms, or perhaps even terms that put you in a worse situation than you are now.
Even with all bankruptcy lawyers combined, not all bankruptcy attorneys specialize in the same type of cases, so you need to make sure that you are finding a lawyer who is very familiar with the type of financial difficulties that you are facing. Unfortunately, this is not nearly as easy as walking through the yellow pages and browsing page after page of lawyer listings. Our web site contains a form where you can identify your specific situation and then be referred to a bankruptcy lawyer who is both LOCAL to you, as well as being familiar with your particular type of situation and circumstances.
When you meet with the bankruptcy lawyer, you want to maximize both your time and his time, so make sure you bring all pertinent information with you. Bring a list of all creditors, your required monthly payment to each, the current outstanding balance of each, the account numbers, and the status of each debt in terms of being current, 30 days past due, 60 days past due, etc. Also provide information on which creditors you have spoken with, as well as any particular arrangements you may have already made with any of these creditors.
Your bankruptcy lawyer can prevent creditors from harassing you, and this can start immediately after you have retained his services. With all the stress of this type of financial situation, the constant telephone calls from creditors, with each call being more threatening or sinister than the previous one, can add a huge amount of additional stress that you just do not need right now in your situation.
Your bankruptcy lawyer will be familiar with the new laws that affect bankruptcy filings. It is not nearly as easy to file bankruptcy today as it was only a few short years ago. In some situations, you may be required to go through credit counseling before being allowed to file bankruptcy. In fact, after becoming familiar with your specific situation, your lawyer may recommend other options or alternatives instead of bankruptcy, perhaps options that you had not previously considered.
In summary, be aware that just because someone has passed the bar exam does not mean that they are able to be a competent bankruptcy attorney. Be sure to find one who specializes in your particular type of bankruptcy to obtain your best bet of resoling this situation as easily and with as less pain as possible.
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