It is not mandatory to file for bankruptcy using a lawyer. It is important to note that representing yourself can be difficult if you are not aware of the paperwork required to be filed and the deadlines imposed once a case is filed. In addition to federal rules of bankruptcy procedure, each court has their own rules which require additional disclosures. In the event a deadline or disclosure is overlooked, a bankruptcy case could be dismissed. Additionally, only an attorney can explain whether you would be at risk of losing any assets if you file. Anyone considering filing bankruptcy should strongly consider hiring an attorney.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
There are several circumstances when filing under Chapter 13 is more ideal. For instance, people who wish to do away with a second mortgage or pay back on certain priority debts, then chapter 13 makes sense. Applicants can also be disqualified under chapter 7 if they earn a substantial figure. Chapter 13 can also help cram down on car loans. These circumstances all present unique difficulties that can best be handled by an attorney.
Filing under Chapter 13 tends to be more complicated than chapter 7. The paper load is also heavier. Apart from filling the forms, the person filing must also come up with a repayment plan. This plan should be detailed and specific. Drafting a comprehensive repayment plan often needs the use of expensive software. Persons who wish to get rid of second mortgages or cram up on their auto loans need to file additional motions. This means more paperwork and more time.
Due to the intricacies involved in chapter 13, one finds that some lawyers only handle Chapter 7 cases. In fact, only a few are competent enough to handle chapter 13. Considering this, persons filing under Chapter 13 need to enlist the services of qualified attorneys. They should have a successful track record of representing client in chapter 13 cases.
Chapter 7 case
While chapter 7 is less complicated, you should still hire an attorney to best represent your interests. Because Chapter 7 can discharge a majority of unsecured debt, the Court will be looking to see if you have any assets which can be liquidated to help pay your creditors. The Trustee handling your case will require certain documents prior to any hearing. An attorney will make sure the court has everything they need in a timely manner. I have seen many instances where cases are dismissed because the appropriate documents were not filed within the Court’s set deadlines. It is always best for people who are filing to consult with an attorney.
Lack of legal expertise
Whether chapter 7 or 13, filing for insolvency is intimating and time-consuming. Persons who lack the legal expertise should seek the help of attorneys. These cases are often characterized by long court proceedings and a lot of paperwork. If the applicant lacks time to carry out research and attend court proceedings, then they are better seeking legal help.
The approach taken on bankruptcy cases can either lead to success or dismissal. Hiring a legal expert can make an otherwise complicated process much smoother.