It can be easy to approach bankruptcy with many misconceptions and a lot of uncertainty, but a little knowledge can help put you at ease. Here are five of the most common questions clients have when we begin discussing bankruptcy.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File Bankruptcy?
The simple answer is: no, a lawyer is not required to file for bankruptcy. However, the better answer is that an attorney can be a huge help and even comfort in navigating the bankruptcy process. Much like you don’t need a doctor for an operation, but you probably want one. For many, their financial situation already taxes them emotionally and mentally, causing a great amount of stress. This process is meant to be a means of relief from financial burdens, and a bankruptcy attorney such as myself can be an asset in your decisions regarding bankruptcy while providing you with reassurance along the way.
Should I File Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a complex process, so there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. That’s why I set up an initial consultation with my clients to help them assess their budget, assets, creditors, and transactional history, among other factors. Depending on your situation, there may be benefits to choosing one type over another, such as the retention of assets or the ability to control how debt is repaid. I will help make the process smooth and the decision easy, spurring you on toward financial relief.
Will I Lose My Belongings?
This almost never happens! I’m a firm believer that bankruptcy does not have to fit the stereotypes surrounding it and the reality is that my clients rarely lose any property! Once again, it’s easy for an attorney to navigate the laws surrounding bankruptcy and help ensure that your belongings remain yours. That’s a part of deciding which type to pursue and how each will affect your property and assets. I would be glad to work with you to determine how to keep what’s yours and put the financial power back in your hands.
Can My Credit Recover?
Absolutely! It may not take as long as you think, either. Bankruptcy has an effect on credit, yes, but it doesn’t ruin it forever. Again, the process is a means of giving you a fresh financial start, which makes rebuilding an important part of the process. A difficult financial situation is likely what brought you here, and bankruptcy can put a stop to the growing problem, which then allows you to start moving in a positive direction. I explain my client’s options for post-bankruptcy credit rebuilding, such as opening secured credit cards and loans. The most important thing to remember is that bankruptcy is a clean slate.
Will Bankruptcy Include All My Debts?
Again, there isn’t one clear-cut answer, but most debts can be included in your bankruptcy with some exceptions. This proves another benefit of having a bankruptcy attorney. I work with my clients to ensure that bankruptcy serves them the best it possibly can.