If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you should hire an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to help you manage the process. Bankruptcy laws are incredibly complex. A lawyer will make declaring bankruptcy easier, faster, and more successful.
Although you are allowed to file for bankruptcy yourself, it is often an expensive mistake. In this article, you will learn ten reasons why you should hire a bankruptcy lawyer.
10 Benefits of Hiring a Bankruptcy Lawyer
1) Hiring a lawyer increases your chances of successfully eliminating debt. An annual report published by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California shows that individuals representing themselves (pro se) have a significantly lower bankruptcy success rate than individuals represented by a lawyer. In the case of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, debtors represented by a lawyer are more than ten times more likely to reach a successful outcome than individuals representing themselves.
2) A lawyer can help you decide if bankruptcy is the right option for you. It is essential to evaluate and understand all of the options available to you when you are facing overwhelming debt. While it may seem like bankruptcy is your only choice, a lawyer may have a better solution for managing your debt without declaring bankruptcy.
3) You don’t know which bankruptcy option is best for your situation. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer will review your financial situation and explain your bankruptcy options. In Wisconsin, the two most common types of personal bankruptcy are a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Wynn at Law, LLC’s lawyers can help you identify which type best fits your current situation and guide you through the entire process.
4) A bankruptcy lawyer will help eliminate all eligible debts. A bankruptcy lawyer will know which debts can be discharged and the best type of bankruptcy to use to discharge your debt. For example, a lawyer can identify and eliminate debts beyond the statute of limitations for collections. You will also save money by fully discharging your obligations and not having lingering debts after completing your bankruptcy.
5) Experience is crucial to success. Do you know the U.S. Bankruptcy Code? Do you know Wisconsin District Courts’ bankruptcy laws? Do you know what property is exempt from bankruptcy? Filing for bankruptcy requires knowledge of the federal code and local case law. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer has worked on hundreds of cases and understands the intricate details of the process. A bankruptcy lawyer will be familiar with current laws, courtroom procedures, the bankruptcy filing process, and filing timeframes.
6) Hiring a lawyer saves you time. Hiring a lawyer saves you countless hours, as you no longer have to spend your time researching and reviewing bankruptcy information. In some cases, a lawyer can identify shortcuts and smooth out the scheduling process. Wynn at Law, LLC’s bankruptcy lawyers will guide you through the complicated procedures and keep you informed at every stage.
7) You don’t have to handle the paperwork. Filing for bankruptcy requires accurate, detailed, and timely paperwork. It is crucial to have precise information and sufficient supporting documentation. While much of the information will come from you, a lawyer can help you complete the paperwork and provide legal advice on your disclosures, valuing assets, income, and expenses.
8) Lawyers have an established relationship with the bankruptcy court, judges, and trustees. A bankruptcy lawyer has gone through this before; they are familiar with bankruptcy courtroom etiquette. Lawyers have already built relationships with the people involved in the process, making communication easier for you. When the trustee asks for additional information or details, your bankruptcy lawyer will be prepared.
9) You get protection from harassment by creditors and collection agencies. Once you hire a bankruptcy lawyer, harassing phone calls from creditors will stop. Once a lawyer represents you, you can inform creditors or debt collectors and force their phone calls and letters to go through your lawyer instead. After you officially file, an automatic stay will be granted, which legally extends your harassment relief.
10) Lawyers offer you peace of mind and protection from uncertainty. Peace of mind goes a long way. You won’t have to worry about mistakes, losing your assets, or preparing for a court appearance. Your bankruptcy lawyer will advise you on what will happen ahead of time, complete your paperwork correctly, and sit by your side in creditor meetings or court. It is your lawyer’s responsibility to fight for the best outcome for you and protect your rights.
Do I Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer?
The logistics of bankruptcy paperwork, credit reporting bureaucracy, and collection agencies’ tactics can be challenging to manage without a lawyer. While you do not need a lawyer to file for bankruptcy – it is strongly recommended.
Are you still considering filing without an attorney, even after reviewing the list of reasons you should hire a bankruptcy lawyer? If so, you should understand some of the risks of representing yourself (pro se representation) when filing for bankruptcy.
The Risks of Filing Bankruptcy Without a Bankruptcy Lawyer
One little mistake could cost you everything. If you file incorrectly or the filing is incomplete, the bankruptcy judge could throw out your case. If that happens, you may not be able to refile for any type of bankruptcy in the near future or if you can refile, you may lose protection from creditors taking action against you. Incorrectly listing assets could cost you not only your debt being discharged, but you could lose the possessions you sought to protect. Bankruptcy lawyers know how to protect your assets and successfully lead you through the process.
Mistakes could mean criminal charges for fraud or perjury. Committing fraud in a bankruptcy case can land you in jail. You cannot hide assets or income from the bankruptcy trustee or judge (even those that you haven’t received yet). Do you know the law well enough to avoid this serious situation? Did you sign over a vehicle, deed property, gift money, or other assets to a friend or relative? A bankruptcy lawyer will help you file your petition and truthfully list your assets in a way that protects you from criminal charges.
You may end up paying more of your debt. When communications between the bankruptcy trustee and your creditors occur, can you respond without negatively impacting your bankruptcy discharge? If a creditor files a lawsuit or contests your discharge of debt – how will you respond? A bankruptcy lawyer can protect your interests, effectively communicate with all parties involved, and save you money in negotiating with creditors.
Get a Free Consultation with a Wisconsin Bankruptcy Lawyer
Meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer in the early stages of financial difficulty can allow you to explore all of your debt relief options. If you can’t make regular payments on your existing debt, filing for bankruptcy may be a solution. Wynn at Law, LLC’s lawyers will meet with you to discuss your financial situation and help you determine if bankruptcy is right for you.
Contact Wynn at Law, LLC for a free bankruptcy consultation: 262-725-0175
Wynn at Law, LLC has law offices in Lake Geneva, WI, Delavan, WI, and Salem Lakes, WI. Our lawyers provide legal advice and representation to residents throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. We are a debt relief agency that can help individuals or couples file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Filing for bankruptcy is an intricate legal process. The federal court in the Eastern District of Wisconsin oversees bankruptcy cases for residents of Walworth County, Racine County, and Kenosha County.