Why a Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help Save You Money
The number of people filing for bankruptcy has reached its lowest point since 2007. However, experts believe this has more to do with factors other than an increased ability to pay off debts, though a stronger economy is likely still a factor. One key reason for the decrease in bankruptcy filings could be that consumers simply believe they can not afford to pay the legal fees they would incur if they filed. If you are facing bankruptcy, paying an attorney for assistance may seem impossible, given your difficult financial situation. However, a bankruptcy attorney may be more affordable than you think, and may even save you money in the long-run.
How to Afford an Attorney
When you are in a financial situation causing you to file bankruptcy, you certainly do not have much in the way of disposable cash, so you probably do not think you can afford to pay an attorney. However, there are options that may allow you to afford the representation you need. When considering the cost of an attorney, remember that:
● You can stop paying on debts that will be eliminated under the bankruptcy filing
● Some lawyers will accept payments over time
● You may be able to pay attorney fees through a Chapter 13 repayment plan
Be certain to ask your attorney which debts you can stop paying in order to help free up cash to pay for your legal representation, as not all debts will be eliminated by your bankruptcy filing. Though these options do not eliminate the cost of an attorney, they can make it possible for you to afford bankruptcy.
Costs of Filing Alone
While filing without an attorney will save you on legal fees, there are still standard filing fees to pay and other costs that may come up without an experienced attorney to assist you. Bankruptcy is a complex process and going it alone may mean losing more of your property or settling on a repayment plan that you can not actually afford. Additionally, incorrect paperwork could get your case thrown out altogether, leaving you with no relief. An experienced attorney can help you:
● Determine the best form of bankruptcy or other debt relief for your situation
● Ensure that all paperwork is filed accurately and in a timely manner
● Keep as much of your property as possible
● Negotiate repayment amounts with creditors
● Arrange a realistic repayment plan in Chapter 13 cases
● Hold creditors accountable if they break the automatic stay, preventing them from contacting you or pursuing debt collection once you have filed
Your lawyer can also help you after bankruptcy, in case you ever need to make changes to your Chapter 13 repayment plan or if a creditor tries to collect on a debt that was resolved via the bankruptcy. His or her advice can also be invaluable in working to rebuild your credit after your bankruptcy case is closed.
Contact an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney
Whatever you do, do not file alone. Let the attorneys at Cornwell Law Firm help you protect your property, clear your debt, and get on the path to a financial fresh start. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.