Filing bankruptcy is a big decision that can have a formidable impact on your financial future. While it is possible to attempt it without the help of a lawyer, filing bankruptcy yourself is rarely a good decision.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, speak to an experienced Paducah KY bankruptcy attorney at Farmer & Wright, PLLC. We can help navigate you through the process as you regain control over your finances.
How Do You Decide Between Different Debt Relief Options?
The decision to file for bankruptcy should be made only after you have reviewed your finances with an outside advisor who can take an objective look at your situation. Sometimes, non-bankruptcy options can be better ways for people to control debt. A bankruptcy attorney can advise you as to whether other debt relief options may best suit your situation.
Filing for bankruptcy can offer you a fresh start and save you from drowning in collections or garnishments. Many people delay the process because they are afraid of the stigma associated with it. However, filing for bankruptcy could be the answer after dealing with unforeseen circumstances like changes in employment, divorce proceedings, or certain medical situations.
With bankruptcy, have the option to file for Chapter 7 or 13:
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Sell off specific assets, and then use the proceeds to pay off debts. Any remaining debt is eliminated. A usual Chapter 7 bankruptcy case will last from 3-6 months. You will receive a legal discharge once your case is finished.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Agree on a payment plan with creditors so you do not have to sell assets. Payment plans usually run between 3-5 years and come into force after court approval. Some debts, like child support, must be fully repaid, but others can just be partially repaid. You will receive a legal discharge after the plan ends.
What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Chapter 7 and 13?
One of the biggest advantages of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the ability for you to keep assets like a home and vehicle. The drawback is you are required to follow a strict repayment plan.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a relatively quick process that makes it easy to get rid of a lot of debt, but you will lose a lot of assets that are not deemed as exempt.
Additionally, those filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy are required to meet a “means test”. You will want the help of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to help you understand these standards. In general. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is usually best for those who have nondischargeable debts like child support and taxes.
Bankruptcy Involves Keeping Up With Paperwork, Hearing, and a Myriad of Other Responsibilities
Filing for bankruptcy is a complicated process that becomes a lot more difficult if you choose to do so alone. Many people who file on their own accord struggle to keep up with all of the accompanying forms and responsibilities, which include:
- Filling out and properly filing detailed bankruptcy forms
- Thoroughly listing all creditors and debts
- Figuring out what exemptions apply in order to protect property
- Submitting proper certifications pertaining to credit counseling as well as financial management courses
- Meeting with creditors and handling disputes
- Negotiating with a bankruptcy trustee
- Accurately reviewing and interpreting any forms and letters that are received
The vast majority of people will not have the expertise or knowledge to do any of the above tasks. An experienced bankruptcy attorney will have knowledge of the entire process, along with a good understanding of consumer debt laws, to work productively on your behalf.
Filing yourself also makes it easy to make potentially devastating mistakes. Missing a deadline or filling out a form wrong could waste your time in court hearings, cause you to lose property you could have held on to, or force you to pay debts.
Mistakes can open you up to allegations of fraud from the bankruptcy trustee or creditors, or even the entire dismissal of your claim. Dismissal could open you up to renewed attention from debt collectors, who often operate in a harassing manner.
Avoid Costly Mistakes by Speaking to a Paducah KY Bankruptcy Attorney Today
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, don’t make the mistake of trying to do it without the help of an attorney. Filing bankruptcy yourself is a daunting task with a lot of room for error. At Farmer & Wright, PLLC, we can help you through the process as you rebuild your financial future. Contact us today for a free consultation.