A petition for debt relief is submitted to the U.S. Bankruptcy Law Court to start a bankruptcy proceeding. Creditors are permitted to pursue at least some of the debt that is owed to them. Both consumer and business bankruptcies are possible. The chapter of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code that the debtor is filing under is used to refer to them. They fall under Chapters 7, 9, 11, 12, and 13. Here is a quick description of each:

Bankruptcy Lawyer: Do You Need One? And What To Expect

Although declaring bankruptcy can be stressful, the procedure can help you get your finances back on track so you can lay a more solid financial foundation going forward. However, bankruptcy should only be used as a last choice because depending on the form, it will either stay on record for 7 or 10 years and severely harm your credit score. A knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer can assist you in choosing the right bankruptcy to file, appropriately valuing your assets, and figuring out which debts are dischargeable and which still need to be paid.

Even if you can file for bankruptcy on your own, doing so without a lawyer could have very negative results. Less than 50% of debtors who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy without legal assistance do so, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute a lawyer have their debts discharged. In contrast, in Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, 94% of debtors represented by attorneys receive a discharge of their debts. To find out more about how a personal bankruptcy lawyer can make your file less stressful, continue reading.

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What does a bankruptcy lawyer do?

The attorney safeguards you from missing important deadlines during this time-sensitive process and explains all the relevant papers and documentation you need to complete. Although declaring bankruptcy is a simple process, a consumer bankruptcy attorney will save you from making mistakes that can prohibit the court from releasing you from your debts.

As you begin the bankruptcy procedure, your attorney will offer advice and assist you comprehend:

If declaring Bankruptcy is the best course of action for your financial position
Understanding bankruptcy types and choosing between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13
How long the bankruptcy procedure takes in total
In the records you must give, together with the necessary paperwork.
The resources you can safeguard
what happens after declaring bankruptcy
You can comply with your state’s filing standards and obtain a fresh financial start with the aid of an accomplished local bankruptcy attorney.

Personal bankruptcy types

There are two basic categories of Bankruptcy when filing as an individual.
Chapter 7: The most popular option, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also referred to as a liquidation, however this isn’t exactly correct. Nearly 96% of Chapter 7 applications are deemed to be cases with no assets, according to This indicates that the filer, whether an individual or business, lacks sufficient equity to be seized and liquidated by a court-appointed trustee. They are likely to keep their property in order to pay their creditors. Bankruptcies under Chapter 7 normally take 4-6 months to complete, but once they do, filers will typically have all but a small portion of their unsecured debt erased. Alimony, child support, property liens, some taxes, and (often) their education debt are among the outstanding debts. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to 10 years after discharge, and there is an eight-year waiting period between filings.

Chapter 13: Also referred to as a reorganization, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing halts foreclosures or property seizures so that debtors can enter a court-mandated debt repayment plan for (usually) 3-5 years. That strategy will involve making amends and paying. They’ll be able to pay off at least some of their unsecured debt, but they’ll be able to keep their house or car. All unsecured debt that is still outstanding may be dismissed after the repayment plan period has ended. Less than 30% of bankruptcy cases fall under this category, which is intended for individuals or sole owners with steady revenues. After discharge, a Chapter 13 file may remain on your record for up to 7 years.

section 7
This is often a consumer bankruptcy and the most common type of debt relief lawsuit in the US. It’s referred to as a liquidation or plain Bankruptcy Law. Companies may also petition for Chapter 7 liquidation. Municipalities and other taxing bodies that fall under Chapter 9 are also qualified for debt relief. A debt restructuring is a Chapter 9 bankruptcy. To be approved by the bankruptcy court is a payment schedule.
Section 11

A firm may file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition to restructure its debt. This type of relief enables the debtor to put up a strategy for continuing to operate its business while gradually repaying its creditors.
Section 12

Not frequently observed on Wall Street or in the country’s other financial centres, this is also a reorganization strategy, but its goal is to preserve the agricultural or fishing operation owned by the family. A three to five year reorganization plan is also considered.
Section 13

People who are employed but are drowning in debt and unable to pay it off qualify for this type of bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be able to keep a family’s automobile and home.

What you can expect when hiring a bankruptcy lawyer

You may approach the process with the appropriate expectations if you are aware of what to anticipate when selecting a personal or commercial bankruptcy lawyer. Even if you file for bankruptcy, your debts won’t miraculously disappear at the expense of a poor credit rating. The top bankruptcy lawyers will outline the benefits and drawbacks of filing as well as provide you a sincere evaluation of your financial status when the procedure is over.

A contract, or retainer agreement

Signing a retainer agreement is the first step in hiring a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney. This basic agreement serves as a binding contract between you and your attorney, outlining the legal services you will get and the requirements for representation.

The following items should be in your retainer agreement:

The range of the representation.

This outlines in paper the legal services you’re paying a lawyer to offer, such as declaring bankruptcy under Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or Chapter 11. You must be aware of the services your attorney will and won’t offer.

Court costs and attorney fees

. A retainer agreement should state how much you must pay a lawyer to represent you as well as a rough cost estimate for your bankruptcy filings. Most lawyers have a flat rate upfront bankruptcy filing fee for Chapter 7.

Client and attorney obligations

Each party’s obligations during the filing procedure should be described in the agreement as well. Clients must, for instance, promise that the information they provide is true and accurate. Attorneys must always make a commitment to preserve their clients’ interests and keep all client information confidential. This will establish the standards of conduct for both parties.

Complete handling of your case throughout the bankruptcy process

From beginning to end, your attorney should manage every part of your bankruptcy case. You should also get helpful counsel and direction regarding which debts the court will discharge and which will stay, in addition to step-by-step instructions.

Identifying the debts that are and are not dischargeable

In addition to eliminating debts, bankruptcy also aims to protect some assets from being taken by creditors. The two categories of assets are exempt and non-exempt, and your Your lawyer can help you decide how to allocate your assets.

Typical non-exempt assets are:
  • Bonds, stocks, cash, and investments
  • Pristine items such as works of art, antiques, and artefacts
  • secondary automobiles
  • second-home owners
  • luxurious attire
You can normally exempt the following assets:
  • Non-luxury automobiles
  • Funds for retirement income and pensions
  • Ordinary home appliances
  • Equipment and tools used in work
  • Furniture for the home that is essential
  • Not-luxury attire

A percentage of the equity in your property that is currently available
The kind of assets you can safeguard will vary because each state has its unique exemption scheme. Your attorney is knowledgeable about state laws and how to apply exclusion clauses to minimize losses.

Putting together and submitting your bankruptcy paperwork

The most challenging step in the bankruptcy process is filing a petition, which is when having legal representation makes a big impact. federal courts insist that you provide a thorough list of your unpaid bills and creditors, along with the information in a certain format. The number of debts the court determines to discharge will be lowered if this necessary information is not properly listed.
Thankfully, a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer will understand how to handle this procedure and complete and file all required documentation. Your attorney will start by asking you a series of questions regarding your debts and requesting that you turn over any paperwork pertaining to your financial condition. Your lawyer will prepare the required paperwork and submit your bankruptcy petition after carefully evaluating all the pertinent information. The bankruptcy process officially begins now.

Defending you in legal proceedings

Your advocate in any hearings ordered by the court or when managing creditors. Discovery hearings are typically held by a bankruptcy judge to evaluate your present financial condition and determine the different categories of debt you have. This information will be used by the court to decide which debts to discharge.
The court will convene a meeting of creditors to review your case, during which debt collectors may present evidence to refute your claims. Your creditors can make an effort to contest the amount you owe them or raise objections to the discharge of their obligation. In order to ensure that the least amount of debt is left outstanding, your attorney will protect your interests at these hearings.

bankruptcy law

Ongoing communication & legal assistance

Despite the fact that declaring bankruptcy is simple, you could still have questions. At all times throughout the procedure, your attorney should be accessible and ready to provide clarification. You’ll be able to better comprehend the safeguards bankruptcy offers and stay informed about the status of your case during the filing process if you stay in constant contact.
Additionally, your attorney will support you with any legal matters that arise while your case is being processed. For instance, the court will immediately impose an automatic stay that makes it illegal for creditors to make collection efforts. However, some creditors might choose to disregard the stay, which would go against the bankruptcy’s safeguards. If your creditors don’t stop all communication and attempts to secure payment, your attorney may ask the court to hold them in contempt .

Negotiations Between Debtors & Creditors

Debtor’s attorneys frequently work to prevent their clients from declaring bankruptcy. When debtors and creditors bargain, the debtor must have money or something else of worth to use as leverage.
If the debtor can demonstrate that there is sufficient revenue to pay off a settled amount in the future or that there is accessible debt for a lump sum settlement, the creditor is more likely to be open to restructuring a debt, regardless of whether the debtor is an individual or a business. So that the right amount can be paid if an agreement can be reached, funds for this purpose are frequently put in escrow with the debtor’s attorney.
Professional negotiators attorneys have done a thorough review of the acceptance rate of a settlement proposal.

Do you need a lawyer to file for bankruptcy?

Do you require legal counsel to file for lawyer? No. You are not required to retain legal counsel to file a bankruptcy petition. However, attempting to handle things on your own deprives you of the skill that comes with hiring a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer.
Without legal representation, you’ll be forced to precisely identify and complete all necessary forms, meet court-imposed deadlines, and present your case to a judge. That’s a lot to ask, especially if you’ve never petitioned a judge or filed for bankruptcy. According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, the difficulties may contribute to explain why less than 50% of defendants who represent themselves in bankruptcy hearings successfully have their debts discharged.
Financial hardship is probably the cause of the bankruptcy filing. however, trying to save cash by not hiring a You can end up paying more if you hire a lawyer.

What does a bankruptcy attorney cost?

According to, the cost of engaging a bankruptcy attorney varies slightly from state to state but generally costs roughly $1,250 for Chapter 7 assistance. If you want to get the best deal possible, avoid hiring a big law company because you could have to pay more. Instead, think about hiring a solo bankruptcy attorney.
The price depends on the type of bankruptcy you file. Due to the increasing complexity of Chapter 13 filings, the national average charge is approximately $3,000. It could cost extra to hire a lawyer to handle Chapter 11 and other business-related bankruptcies.
An emergency bankruptcy counsel doesn’t exist. In the long run, hiring a lawyer can cost you more.

How much do bankruptcy lawyers charge?

State-by-state variations in the cost of employing a bankruptcy attorney exist, but according to, the national average charge for Chapter 7 representation is roughly $1,250. A huge law firm may require you to pay more, so if you want to get the best deal possible, think about selecting an individual bankruptcy attorney.
The fee is also based on the type of bankruptcy you file. Due to the increasing complexity of these files, the typical national fee for Chapter 13 cases is about $3,000. It could cost extra to hire a lawyer to handle Chapter 11 and other bankruptcy cases involving businesses.
A who is available 24/7 does not that you won’t have to be concerned about paying extra for quick service. Call a few different local legal companies and individual attorneys to get estimates on the cost of bankruptcy representation. This will assist you in locating the local attorney that offers the best value.

How to choose a reputable bankruptcy attorney

The appropriate attorney you choose could mean the difference between gaining the fresh start you need financially and ending up broke and without any significant possessions. Don’t settle for the first lawyer who answers your call; instead, approach the process as though you were a recruiting manager looking for the best applicant.
Ask all pertinent inquiries regarding the bankruptcy procedure, a payment plan, wage garnishment, and anything else. you want to be aware of beforehand. A top-notch potential attorney will take the time to thoroughly address your inquiries.
You shouldn’t anticipate a lawyer acting very differently during your Law proceedings if they respond to your questions dismissively, quickly, or impatiently. Take your time making a selection because it counts.

Make use of a legal referral service

A lawyer referral service can connect you with an accomplished lawyer and provide you with an estimate of the cost of legal counsel in your area. Use these meetings to interview potential bankruptcy attorneys as you should be able to arrange a free session with one.

solicit advice from relatives and friends

A personal touch is unmatched Suggestion from a reliable friend or relative. Your loved one can talk about their interactions with the lawyer, how their case turned out, and whether they were happy with the legal counsel they received.

View customer testimonials

You can find out more about the experiences other clients have had working with a lawyer or legal firm by checking out review websites like Angie’s List and Yelp. Read reviews to look for any indications that a lawyer isn’t a good fit, such as poor communication, disappointing results, and one- or two-star ratings.

Inquire about their legal background.

An expert attorney knows how to file for to achieve the greatest results for their client. You are welcome to inquire about a prospective attorney’s experience with Bankruptcy their professional lives and what efforts they intend to take to guarantee that your case has the intended result.

Speak with a local bankruptcy attorney

By declaring , you may be able to start over and get rid of overwhelming debt. After the bankruptcy procedure is complete, you can attempt to raise your credit score and make up for what you’ve lost. In order to lay the groundwork for future financial success, you must safeguard your assets and pay off as much debt as you can. Avoid the error of trying to handle this important task by yourself. To find out more about the value of legal representation to your case’s outcome, speak with a bankruptcy attorney in your region.

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