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8 Ways a Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help You Repair Your Financial Life

1. Assist in the Decision Making Process

While it can relieve you from obligations you can no longer keep up with, a full Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a drastic move and not the correct path for everyone. Your first consultation with your chosen attorney should include a discussion about the options open to you. Depending on your situation, you will be advised to proceed with the bankruptcy or to explore some other options.For example, if you have too much money or too many assets, a good attorney will encourage you to try to keep up with your bills. On the other hand, if you have nothing creditors could take, you might not need to file for bankruptcy, either. With so many different factors to consider, speaking to an attorney can give you clarity about the path you should take next.

2. Ensure You are Following State Guidelines in Gardner, KS

Bankruptcy laws are complex and vary from state to state. That's why hiring a local professional is invaluable and prevents mistakes that could be costly later on. For example, if you want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kansas, you must have an income below the median in the state or pass the Kansas means test. Similarly, there are certain requirements for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.What's more, filing for bankruptcy doesn't mean that all of your debts will go away. Certain kinds of charges like back child support, student loans, legal fines, and income tax debt will remain. A qualified and experienced attorney can help you to figure out how to pay these off once the bankruptcy is over and how the local laws apply to your situation.

3. Provide Reassurance About the Process

Like with any other profession, the best lawyers are passionate about their field. Filing for bankruptcy is a nerve-racking and painful process, so you'll need as much support as you can get. A good attorney is eager to help you improve your financial life and make the process as smooth as possible.Although every law firm has its own way of starting the bankruptcy process, expect the initial consultation to include a full assessment of your situation. If you are feeling overwhelmed or scared, your bankruptcy lawyer will take the time to reassure you about the process. He will listen to your situation and explain some of the procedures so that you can find a way forward.

4. Give You All the Legal Advice You Need

Not all bankruptcies are equally complex, but if you have never dealt with such a situation, you are going to feel confused about the different options and laws. Using a competent bankruptcy attorney can not only make the process easier but also prevent you from making a mistake that could cause you to lose assets or even be prosecuted for fraud.Together, you and your chosen professional can figure out whether a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a good option, what particular risks are associated with your case, and how to navigate these. If you have any questions or concerns along the way, your lawyer is there to assist you.

5. File Your Paperwork for You

Even simple bankruptcy cases require a lot of paperwork. When faced with such a stressful life event, it is easier and quicker to let the experts handle this. Not only do they have years of experience with these forms, but they also have software to fill them in and file them with the court. Once the paperwork is filled in, your attorney will go over it with you to make sure all of the information is correct.As your case progresses, there might be additional forms and deadlines. By letting your bankruptcy attorney handle them, you avoid the risk of missing one. This is vital because not filing your paperwork on time could lead to delays or even the dismissal of your case.

6. Represent You at Hearings

For every case, there is at least one hearing: the 341 meeting of creditors. Depending on the complexity of your case, there might be more, such as Chapter 13 confirmation, Chapter 7 reaffirmation, or objection hearings. Your attorney will discuss what hearings you can expect and how they are likely to turn out. Having a professional you trust present can make a big difference when faced with such events.

7. Handle Debts, Loans, and Repossessions

If you have credit card debt and payday loans, your attorney can help you to deal with them. Your credit score will be affected by the process, but a competent professional can find ways to restore it quickly and efficiently. Many people in this situation are also facing foreclosures, but an attorney will work with you to try to prevent this, along with repossessions of other items such as vehicles and personal property.It is possible that some of your debts will remain after your bankruptcy is complete, so your lawyer will discuss how to handle these. There may be ways to negotiate with your creditors. He might also work out a repayment plan with you, showing you how you can prioritize your remaining debt payments and cut your spending until your situation improves.

8. Deal With Family Situations

A final hurdle many people who file for bankruptcy face is tense family situations. If you are filing for bankruptcy at the same time as a divorce, the process poses additional challenges. Sometimes, you may not be able to work together with your spouse, and in this case, two separate bankruptcy filings will be needed. Your lawyer can assist you with the decision-making process and help to protect the interests of your children.Another issue that comes up is the impact of bankruptcy on inheritances. Your attorney can help you to protect your assets so that future generations are not disadvantaged.Whether you are filing for bankruptcy because of a divorce, because you are nearing retirement age, or due to large amounts of medical debt, a competent bankruptcy lawyer can help. Contact Stockton & Stern today to find out more about what services we offer and how we could help you repair your financial life. With extensive experience in the area, we can make the bankruptcy process as easy and painless as possible for you.