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Filing for Bankruptcy: A Lawyer's Role

Although you can file bankruptcy on your own, bankruptcy attorneys can help you smoothly navigate the entire process. Handling your bankruptcy case alone can be confusing and overwhelming, particularly when combined with foreclosure worries. But bankruptcy lawyers know the ins and outs of the law. From Day 1 to the end of your case, a bankruptcy lawyer can do a lot for you.

Bankruptcy lawyers offer legal advice.

A good bankruptcy lawyer is not only familiar with federal bankruptcy laws; she also knows the local procedures, rules, and nuances of how bankruptcy interacts with other personal finance proceedings, like foreclosure.. Bankruptcy lawyers should also be familiar with the local bankruptcy trustees.

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, meeting with a bankruptcy attorney is a good first step. She will be able to advise you on how you should file (the most two common types are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies) or whether you should file at all. A skilled, experienced bankruptcy lawyer can answer all of your important questions; she’ll be able to gauge the difficulty of your case, tell you what to expect during the process, and what bankruptcy can do for your financial life. They will also be able to explain how bankruptcy proceedings may impact home foreclosure, and they would point you toward a foreclosure attorney should you need one.

A bankruptcy lawyer is involved in every step—and keeps you involved.

A bankruptcy attorney will be involved in every step in your bankruptcy case. After helping you construct a plan of action, she will help you handle the daunting tasks of filing for bankruptcy. Don’t want to deal with the mountains of paperwork? Don’t worry about it! Your bankruptcy lawyer will be able to complete your forms for you, thanks to special software. All you need to do is provide the necessary information, which typically includes your assets, income, debts, and expenses. 

You never know what can pop up during your case. Sometimes the trustee will ask for additional information, or creditors will bring new issues to light. It is your bankruptcy attorney’s responsibility to keep you in the loop. If you have any questions during the process, she’ll be able to quickly provide an answer.

Bankruptcy lawyers represent you in and out of court.

You and your attorney will attend a mandatory 341 hearing (in which you meet with creditors) after you file for bankruptcy.  However, depending on your particular situation, you may not have to be present at every single hearing. Your bankruptcy attorney will represent you instead and keep you posted. You, your creditors, or the bankruptcy trustee can file for a hearing at any time, during which your lawyer will represent you. She might also represent you at a Chapter 13 confirmation hearing or a Chapter 7 reaffirmation hearing.