Almost by definition, people who file for bankruptcy are experiencing financial problems and are likely trying to save money at every opportunity they have. As a result, many people who file may be tempted to forego hiring an attorney and file for bankruptcy themselves. While it is possible to file for bankruptcy pro se (without an attorney), it is not advisable, particularly for people who wish to keep their assets. In fact, the United States government “strongly recommends1” that individuals who file bankruptcy are represented by an attorney.
Below is some information about specific ways in which an attorney guides you through every step of the bankruptcy process.
Help you determine whether bankruptcy is right for you – Just because you are in debt does not mean that bankruptcy is the best option for you. While it can be helpful for many people, bankruptcy does have some downsides. An experienced lawyer will be able to analyze your circumstances and determine whether and what type of bankruptcy would be most beneficial for you.
Negotiate with your creditors – Being represented by a bankruptcy lawyer can significantly improve your bargaining position with your creditors. If a creditor believes that someone is considering bankruptcy, they will often offer a low settlement in an attempt to mitigate their losses. In addition, people who wish to keep non-exempt secured property in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy2 often reaffirm the underlying debt. This is an opportunity to renegotiate the terms of your debt, and an attorney can often secure more favorable terms than a debtor could on his or her own.
Make sure that you paperwork is complete and accurate – It is extremely important that all of the documents filed in a bankruptcy are complete and accurate. If they are not, your bankruptcy discharge could be denied, or worse, you could be accused of deliberately trying to mislead the court. An attorney familiar with bankruptcy law can ensure that your filings are complete and accurately reflect your financial situation.
Contact a Long Island bankruptcy lawyer today to schedule a free consultation
New York attorney Ronald D. Weiss has been helping people in the Long Island area obtain a fresh start through bankruptcy since 1993. To schedule a free consultation with The Law Office of Ronald D. Weiss, P.C., call us today at (631) 271-3737.