While you are not required to have an attorney when filing for bankruptcy, not doing so is generally an unwise decision and can cause many problems to arise in court, costing you time and money, while ultimately compromising your chances of achieving a successful outcome. Unfortunately, many individuals who are in need of filing for bankruptcy cannot afford to jeopardize their chances, which is why hiring an attorney is often vital and necessary.
We have compiled a list of reasons that explain why you might need an attorney to assist you through the bankruptcy filing process:
- You filed for the wrong chapter type: Most consumers choose between filing a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, both of which address specific problems. If you are trying to save your home from foreclosure, for example, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be best for you. However, if you have no income and no assets, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is more suitable. Choosing the wrong chapter could cause you to lose valuable property, or you might simply end up not being able to discharge certain debts.
- Not filing the required documents: Lots of legal matters, including bankruptcy, involve a lot of forms and paperwork. You are expected to complete a lengthy federal packet and your court might have some local forms for you to fill out. Oftentimes, self-represented bankruptcy debtors fail to file all of the necessary bankruptcy documents, resulting in a dismissal of their case.
- Failing to protect property: Understanding the role of property exemptions is crucial for protecting your property in both a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Otherwise, you risk losing valuable or sentimental property, such as your home or a family heirloom.
- Failing to take mandatory education courses: If you plan to file for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must take mandatory credit counseling from an approved provider before you file, in addition to completing a financial management course. Many filers forget to do so, or are confused about the requirements, and end up not filing the proper certificate, which might potentially result in a dismissal of your case.
You might also face more complicated scenarios, such as motions or adversary actions and, if you are unable to understand them, you could face some serious problems with your case.
Bankruptcy Attorneys in Fresno
If you are facing an insurmountable level of debt that you cannot begin to repay, filing for bankruptcy could be your best option. Before you take any action, hire a skilled bankruptcy attorney in Fresno to ensure your clean slate begins on the right note. At Arnold Law Group, APC, our bankruptcy attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to assist you.
Get started on rebuilding your financial health today and call our office at (559) 900-1263 to schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our team.