Being deeply in debt can feel like an overwhelming experience with no clear way out. But you don't have to put up with the constant harassment and legal threats from debt collectors if you know what solutions are available to you. One option that is available to you as a way to end the constant cycle of debt is bankruptcy, and a bankruptcy lawyer can provide much-needed expertise to help you decide if this is the right option for you.
Bankruptcy is a serious step that does come with some drawbacks that you should consider before undertaking the process. However, these drawbacks can certainly be worth the relief from constant harassment from debt collectors and other negative effects of being in debt. Read on to find out more about this process and the help an experienced lawyer can provide for you.
Experiencing Harassment from Debt Collectors? Call a Bankruptcy Lawyer Today
What Is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal process that offers a solution to people with insurmountable debt that have no way to pay back what they owe. Though the specific details depend on the exact type of bankruptcy you file, you'll end up with an agreement to discharge your debts in exchange for some restrictions and penalties.
Because it is a rather drastic solution, it is imperative that you don't go into bankruptcy lightly. It's important to first develop a plan, including considering alternative options and deciding on which type of bankruptcy to pursue. You also need to take all of the negative sides of bankruptcy into account before making a decision. A bankruptcy lawyer can work with you in making these decisions so that you do what's best for your financial situation.
What Types of Bankruptcy Are There?
There are two basic forms of bankruptcy that will cover almost all debtors. The first of these is known as Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Before filing for this type of bankruptcy, you must take a means test, as this bankruptcy is not intended for high-income individuals. Assuming you pass this means test, Chapter 7 bankruptcy begins, with a bankruptcy trustee assisting you in the process of liquidating some of your assets in exchange for wiping out your debts.
The other common form of bankruptcy is Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This form of bankruptcy is intended for higher-income individuals, so makes a good option if you can't pass the means test involved in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You'll be able to keep all of your assets with this form of bankruptcy, but you will be expected to pay your creditors the worth of any nonexempt assets over a three to five-year period.
Benefits and Disadvantages of Bankruptcy
The main advantage of bankruptcy is that you'll have your debts stricken off so that you can get back to more secure financial ground. Debt collectors won't be able to continue hounding you for the payments that have been bothering you for the months leading up to bankruptcy.
There are several disadvantages to this financial option, however. For one, bankruptcy will count against your credit report for as long as ten years. That can hinder your ability to take other financial steps such as securing a loan or a line of credit. You may also have to sell some of your assets depending on the specific details of your particular bankruptcy case.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me with Bankruptcy?
Planning Your Best Move
Before beginning the bankruptcy process, a lawyer can help you assess other options to make sure that the rather drastic step of bankruptcy is the best course of action in your unique circumstances. Whether cutting out expenses or selling unneeded assets, there may be other options available to you besides going for bankruptcy.
If bankruptcy is the best option for you from a financial standpoint, your lawyer can ensure that you know everything that filing for bankruptcy entails. They'll also help you decide between the different types of bankruptcy to find the kind that best fits your individual needs and financial situation.
Knowledge of the Process
The inside-and-out familiarity that a lawyer skilled in the bankruptcy process brings to the table to argue your case is an asset that can make the difference in your bankruptcy process being a successful one. All of the different processes involved in completing your bankruptcy filing will seem a lot simpler when you have the expertise of a lawyer on your side.
Your lawyer can also bring their wealth of courtroom experience to your case. This can be especially helpful in bankruptcy proceedings because of the emotional nature a bankruptcy has for the person filing. A lawyer will bring the objective, level-headed perspective you need to ensure that your case is argued fairly and completely, giving you the best chance at the outcome you're looking for.
Help You Gather the Necessary Documentation
As you might expect, there is a lot of paperwork and administrative work involved in the bankruptcy process. From financial documentation to records of your past payments on a debt to documents that itemize all of your outstanding debts, there is plenty of information that will be needed throughout the bankruptcy process in order to have the best chance of success in the process.
The assistance of a lawyer can be an invaluable asset in making sure that the information you provide to the court for your bankruptcy case is thorough and complete. Missing information can slow down the process or cause your bankruptcy filing to be rejected. The attention to detail that an experienced lawyer brings to the table can help you ensure that you're providing all of the information you need so that you get the quickest resolution possible.
Ensure Your Rights Are Respected
One of the main advantages of bankruptcy is that it provides you with legal protection from the constant harassment of debt collectors hounding your morning, noon, and night for what they're owed. The constant phone calls, letters, and threats of legal action can make being in debt feel entirely overwhelming, but bankruptcy provides relief by legally preventing collectors from contacting you.
Sometimes, however, debtors will ignore the legal protection that bankruptcy provides and continue contacting you anyway. A lawyer can ensure that your debtors respect the legal requirements of bankruptcy and cease trying to collect on their debts during the bankruptcy process. That will give you peace of mind, knowing that you can rest easy without worrying about the harassment continuing.
Moving Ahead into the Future
The assistance a lawyer can provide for you doesn't end once the bankruptcy process finishes. The financial expertise a bankruptcy lawyer has at their disposal can help you plan your next move towards a debt-free future. Whether they're helping you with debtors who aren't respecting the bankruptcy ruling or providing tips and resources for future financial planning, a lawyer can provide plenty of assistance even once your bankruptcy is complete.
If you're struggling with keeping up with your financial burdens, there is a way out to a more secure financial situation. A bankruptcy lawyer can provide you with the assistance you need to make your insurmountable debt a thing of the past. Contact Thomas K McKnight Law Office today to start on your way towards a brighter financial future!