A bankruptcy application and discharge are complicated. The legal and regulatory processes can hinder your bankruptcy application if you get something wrong. Your best course of action is to involve a bankruptcy lawyer in the process. Below are some specific ways the lawyer will help you.
Advice on Alternatives
The lawyer will advise you on bankruptcy alternatives during the initial consultations. The lawyer may ask you if you have considered:
- Debt consolidation
- Negotiations with creditors
- Debt counseling
You should only proceed with bankruptcy if it is better than the alternatives for your situation.
Advice on Bankruptcy Chapters
The different bankruptcy options or chapters do more or less the same things but in different ways. Examples of bankruptcy chapters include:
- Chapter 7 is available to individuals and businesses and discharges most debts
- Chapter 11 is available to individuals and businesses and reorganizes most debts
- Chapter 13 is available for individuals with regular income and reorganizes most debts
The best option should:
- Discharge the maximum debt
- Have the least effect on your post-bankruptcy life
- Affect the least possible assets
The best option depends on your circumstances. For example, you should choose Chapter 7 if you cannot pay your business debts, but you still have faith in the business and don't want to fold it up.
Most legal issues involve paperwork, some more than others. A typical bankruptcy application involves considerable paperwork, including:
- Identification paperwork
- Property list and description
- Collateralized debt description
- General debt description
- Your income and expenses
You must fill out the paperwork accurately and completely to maximize your chances of success and discharge if your application succeeds. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer will ensure your paperwork is top-notch.
Management of Creditors
Dealing with creditors is not easy during bankruptcy. Remember, every creditor wants to maximize the amounts they can recover from you. Some creditors might be reluctant to cooperate with you. Your lawyer can deal with the creditors and even negotiate with them on your behalf.
Consider a case where a creditor violates the automatic stay and comes to collect their debt during the bankruptcy process. Your lawyer will know what to do to get the creditor off your back, even if it involves court action.
Hopefully, your bankruptcy application will succeed with minimal fuss. Overall, a bankruptcy lawyer can help you focus on your business or life, even during the bankruptcy process. Moreover, many bankruptcy lawyers charge reasonable fees that are clearly worth their legal services.
For more information, contact a law office such as Southern California Law Advocates.