Why hire a bankruptcy attorney?
If you are considering bankruptcy, the law does not require you to hire an attorney. Most people will find the bankruptcy process confusing and difficult, so considering a bankruptcy attorney may be a good idea. When you hire an attorney, they will prepare and submit all the paperwork for you and provide you with legal advice. This is of course on a fee basis. Do not confuse this with a bankruptcy petition preparer who will only provide typing services and prepare the forms as you direct.
The dangers of filing bankruptcy on your own are that certain debts may remain on your record even after your court hearing is finalized and your debts released. There are many reasons this can happen, which is why hiring a competent bankruptcy attorney is your best bet.
When you delegate the process, you can better concentrate on your family, your job and get your financial house in order again. Going it on your own can be extremely overwhelming not only due to the mountains of paperwork involved but the emotional stress as well.
So how much will this cost? In some cases, you can be looking at $2,000 or more. Why so expensive? You can thank Congress for that one. In 2005, they passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, which naturally added more regulation and more paperwork to the process. Of course, this law made the process more difficult and time-consuming for bankruptcy attorneys, so naturally, they upped their fees.
Another thing you need to be on the lookout for are debt consolidation companies posing as attorneys. Do not be fooled, many are not. They will tell you they can slash your debts to a fraction of their amount and save you from having to file for bankruptcy. They mostly charge an upfront fee and a percent of the amount they supposedly save you (which usually is little to nothing). When looking at the debt consolidation companies, you will need to confirm and re-confirm that they have a working relationship with your financial institution. Many time credit card companies have their own internal departments to work with their struggling customers and do not work with outside companies. But you will not find this out until after you pay a fee. So, you need to do your due diligence and ask if they have a relationship with your financial institution then send a letter to your bank or credit card company and get the confirmation in writing.
At the end of the day, finding the right bankruptcy attorney in Rockville can provide great peace of mind. They key is being careful, and not letting your emotions and fear make your decisions for you. Make sure the bankruptcy attorney you choose has a lot of experience in this field. Ask a lot of questions in your initial consultation and if the attorney is too busy to answer or seems annoyed – keep looking.