It is never easy to admit that you are struggling financially due to excessive debt and unpayable bills. Fortunately, there is a legal route to escape an unsustainable financial situation. Bankruptcy is a powerful tool for managing these situations and creating a more stable financial future, but that does not mean that the process is without issue. Speaking with an experienced Denton bankruptcy lawyer is one route you can take to evaluate the process and gain support if you choose to progress with a bankruptcy.
One of the first steps in the process of working with a bankruptcy attorney is the consultation. This initial connection with the attorney can help you determine if you feel comfortable working with that attorney and their office, but it will also provide valuable information about your circumstances. When discussing your financial situation, it is important that you be open and honest with the attorney; they are not there to judge your choices and past actions. Instead, their job is to create a plan for your future. If an attorney does not have accurate information regarding your debts, assets, and income, the information they give you may not actually be true for your circumstances.
During this initial discussion, that attorney can examine the information that you provide and help you determine if bankruptcy is an option for you. Although bankruptcies are beneficial in many ways, there are also potential drawbacks. Depending on the type of bankruptcy that you choose, you may lose some of your assets, such as your home. Your credit score could also be negatively impacted by bankruptcy. Your lawyer can help you compare and contrast the potential outcomes of filing for the different types of bankruptcy that you qualify to use. Similarly, they can inform you about the general process if you were to choose to move forward with bankruptcy.
Once you have chosen to continue with bankruptcy and decided on the attorney you want to assist you through the process, there are a few things you can expect:
A: For an attorney to give you a clear idea of what bankruptcy would be like for you and your family, they must have a full and clear picture of your financial circumstances. At a minimum, you should bring a list of your assets, particularly major assets like houses and vehicles, and all outstanding debts. It would also be helpful to bring a recent pay stub and a rough budget for your family’s expenses and income.
A: There is no obligation to file for bankruptcy, even if you speak with an attorney about the possibility. A bankruptcy consultation simply provides you with information that can help you make an informed choice on how to proceed with your financial future. You can also schedule multiple consultations to find an attorney that you will feel comfortable with if you do choose to proceed.
A: Since bankruptcy is a federal program, many of the rules are similar from state to state. This means that you can only access federal Chapter 7 bankruptcy once every eight years. If you file Chapter 7, it is important that you create a detailed plan to live within your means to ensure that you do not fall into the patterns that caused you to previously file.
A: Although the specific type of debt that can be discharged depends on the type of bankruptcy, there are certain kinds that are unable to be discharged. These debts include taxes (state, federal, and local), some student loans, alimony, and child support. Some creditors also have the option to object to the debt owed to them being discharged. This most frequently occurs in debts that arise during divorce or fraudulent acts.
A: Even after you have made the choice to continue with bankruptcy and decided on the chapter type to file, an attorney can still be a valuable asset. Filers that employ an attorney are up to ten times more likely to have debts discharged and ultimately achieve a successful bankruptcy. Although the law does not require that you speak with an attorney about your bankruptcy, it is recommended that you seek professional assistance to ensure that you get the most out of filing.
Considering bankruptcy is a time full of uncertainty, but speaking to a bankruptcy lawyer can help ease some of the fear and concern tied to making that decision. Steele Law Firm has knowledgeable team members that can provide crucial information and guidance as you consider this complex choice. Contact our office today to schedule your bankruptcy consultation.