Having financial problems can impact different areas of your life. Debt collectors have no shame. They will try to reach you by any means necessary. Some will call your home, place of employment, or contacts listed on your credit application.
Stress from debt issues can impact your health as well as the stability of your family. As attempts to collect the debt intensify, you may be thinking more about filing for bankruptcy.
If this is you, you’re not alone. In 2018 there were 35,945 bankruptcy filings in the Central District of California.
Working with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can give you the clarity you need to make a sound decision. Often it is the best decision for your current financial situation.
Keep reading for tips on how to choose the best personal bankruptcy lawyer
Don’t waste time agonizing over the decision to file bankruptcy. If you are deep in debt with no financial means to repay creditors within the next year, it’s time to seek professional guidance.
There are two types of bankruptcy for individual filings.
With Chapter 7 you can eliminate all of your unsecured debt with no repayment plan. This filing does require a Chapter 7 Means Test to establish with the Court your inability to repay debt, but for most debtors this is not an issue.
In the event, you do not “pass” the means test and qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy with no repayment plan, Chapter 13 will be your next option, which involves repaying creditors at least a portion of debts.
Some refer to Chapter 13 as the wage-earners plan. It allows you the opportunity to enter into a favorable repayment plan that is affordable and not overly burdensome so that after 5 years, you are debt free.
If you have a consistent income, Chapter 13 will allow you to keep non-exempt assets while restructuring your debt. In some circumstances, Chapter 13 may actually be preferrable to Chapter 7
Bankruptcy proceedings are fairly simple. Still, you want a lawyer, not a paralegal. Paralegals can not give legal advice, practice law or represent you in Court or in your interactions with the bankruptcy trustee or the Judge in your case.
For personal bankruptcy, there are usually only one or two required meetings. A Section 341(a) meeting is primarily for the bankruptcy trustee to verify and validate your identity and confirm the information in the petition is true and correct. Most likely your creditors will not be there.
The second potential meeting is a confirmation hearing. This is for Chapter 13 only. In a typical filing, the attorney will handle the confirmation hearing with little to no required input from the client.
You are already in debt so hiring an experienced, knowledgable bankruptcy attorney can sometimes be challenging. However, the cost of hiring a good attorney and getting the best possible result can be priceless, not only to discharge all possible debts, but for your own peace of mind and emotional comfort.
Bankruptcy is likely something you will do only once or twice in your entire life, however it’s something that must be done correctly (and lawfully) the first time and without unnecessary challenges and hassles. You do not want the “cheapest” attorney, you want an attorney who will get the job done right the first time. Although it is tempting to hire a very inexpensive attorney from CraigsList, those are not the attorneys you want anywhere near your important legal matter.
Whatever the cost, don’t put off the inevitable. Filing for bankruptcy is the first step to becoming debt free and ready to rebuild.
If you’re in the Irvine area and need a bankruptcy lawyer, look no further. McFarlin LLP has experienced bankruptcy attorneys to handle your case. We can help you determine the best course of action for your current situation.
Don’t continue to drown in debt, get in touch TODAY!
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