A bankruptcy lawyer can be, for some time, the most important legal counsel you have. He or she has to advise you on how the laws work, help you discharge the most debt at the least loss, and allow for you to reap the rewards of a successful bankruptcy. In other words, your lawyer is your #1 when it comes to filing bankruptcy. Always hire an experienced lawyer if you are going to file. Why? As noted, the help is tremendous. Let’s go into more detail.
A lawyer should advise you on any and all legal concerns you might have. While this is in general, with specifics such as handling creditors and discharging debt, you are also going to be making some big decisions. If you fail to capitalize on bankruptcy, it may hurt your credit and leave you with little to show for it. Should you choose Chapter 7 bankruptcy? This can eliminate large amounts of debt, such as credit card and medical monies owed. Is Chapter 13 bankruptcy better in some situations? It can help you protect your home. What is the Texas Homestead Exemption? It’s an innovative law, in that it helps you in incredible ways. These are the laws, options, and decisions you have, and unless you’re a bankruptcy lawyer, hiring one is essential.
Once you file bankruptcy, the automatic stay will stop all collections against you. At the end of the bankruptcy, most of your debts will be gone. Creditors may appeal your right to bankruptcy, or try to harass you even during the bankruptcy (which is rare). So what can you do? Let them speak to your lawyer; that’s what you pay him or her for. Your lawyer can handle any creditor issues, which can be a great relief.
Discharging Your Debt
Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be quite powerful in eliminating the most common forms of debt, namely credit card and medical. You have a $25,000 credit card bill because you lost your job … you owe the hospital $50,000 because your spouse has no medical coverage … you owe more money than you make in an entire year. What next? These are atypical situations where a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can truly give you a fresh start. You can discharge most all debts here, even your mortgage if you so choose (though you stand to lose the home). On the other hand, if you have more assets, can you protect them?
Protecting Your Assets
Yes, you can protect assets. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is quite useful if you want to protect your home from foreclosure. Say you are falling behind on payments because of other debts, but you do have an income. If you can afford to make some payments, you have a very good chance of protecting your home. Also, if you keep up on your mortgage, but not other debts, you can use the Texas Homestead Exemption to avoid creditors seizing your home. This can be tricky and a lawyer is important.
Bankruptcy is not for everyone. But if you do file, do so with an experienced lawyer. The decisions you make, the debts you discharge, the assets you save – these can change your life. If you are unsure if bankruptcy is your best option, many experienced lawyers offer free initial consultations.