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Do I Need A Bankruptcy Attorney

If you are considering bankruptcy as a debt relief option, this solution may be the perfect way to give you and your family a fresh start. Although a filing fee is normally required (either up front or soon after filing), a simple internet search will often yield several alternatives to hiring an attorney, including the purchase of do-it-yourself-kits. Fact is, an individual can file bankruptcy without the assistance of an attorney; but the question is--should you?

Of course, the do-it-yourself bankruptcy kits will offer you the opportunity to file the appropriate forms which lists all the pertinent information necessary. With a little time and attention to detail, your bankruptcy paperwork can be prepared for simply the cost of the kit (of course, filing fees will also be assessed when you file). While it is, of course, a practical way to get the job done for as little out of pocket as possible, the fact is that each bankruptcy situation is as different as the individuals and families who file them. Needs and outcomes are different for each case, and knowing what strategy is most effective is learned not only as the attorneys study the pertinent bankruptcy laws for the state where they practice, but also as experience is gained over time.

Another tricky subject to consider as you ask yourself the question: "Do I need a bankruptcy attorney?" is the interesting question of where to file (in the event that you have recently moved or are planning to move). Of course, each individual state has a separate set of laws governing bankruptcy, so if you and your family have (or plan to) move across state lines, there may be significant differences which will affect your case. Even more pronounced is when an individual filing bankruptcy moves outside US borders. An attorney can advise you specifically regarding this matter.

Next we move to the all-important topic of bankruptcy exemptions. Exemptions are important whether you file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy (also referred to as the "Fresh Start" plan) or Chapter 13 (sometimes referred to as the "Reorganization" plan). With Chapter 7, exemptions play a part in determining which of your properties you are allowed to keep; with Chapter 13, exemptions determine how much you will have to pay back in unsecured credit. Attorneys bring to you relevant knowledge which can mean the difference between having a conformable plan versus having one that cannot be confirmed and is therefore disqualified.

A wise person once said that experience is a good teacher. An attorney specializing in bankruptcy has a better understanding of both federal and state laws governing bankruptcy as well as a working knowledge of the entire process (which can be very helpful to you as you chart through this new territory). Individuals are limited as to the time frame between filings (if you must file more than once), so in most cases--unless you have specialized knowledge of these laws--when you begin asking yourself "Do I need a bankruptcy attorney"... the answer is likely to be a resounding yes.

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