Is your life a never-ending hell of mental stress created by creditors? Are you receiving letters from collection agencies on a regular basis? Is your phone ringing off the hook with phone calls that range from harassing to acts of bullying from debt collectors? Do you feel like you have to hide at home with the shades drawn low the doors locked tight and the phone line unplugged just to escape from the ghosts of your past financial indiscretions?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions and have looked into other forms of debt relief; from credit card consolidation to debt counseling, maybe it’s time you look into claiming bankruptcy as a last resort means of debt relief. There are drawbacks associated with claiming bankruptcy; however, it was created to help people in debt and it can be a means to an ends and new beginnings.
What is Personal Bankruptcy?
Personal Bankruptcy is a legal action taken to achieve debt relief. An individual can file Chapters 13, which is a reorganization of debts, or a Chapter 7, which is a liquidation of certain assets to repay creditors. Once a debtor files bankruptcy creditors can no longer collect for them and are ordered to stop attempting collections immediately.
How to Find the Best Bankruptcy Law Firms
There are certain legal papers that need to be filed with a court to claim bankruptcy and those documents need to be prepared properly. Otherwise, you can be denied filing, which can increase debt and stress.
The best action to take when filing for bankruptcy is to hire an attorney that specializes in bankruptcy. When looking for an attorney, it is important to look for three key factors to judge them by:
- Training and Competence
- Personal Attention to Your Case
It is typical that an attorney that has spent more time practicing is going to have more knowledge than a neophyte. However, this isn’t always the case. Just like with doctors and dentists, not all attorneys are created equal. So, when choosing the best bankruptcy law firms, you might also want to judge the quality of an attorney based on referrals. Ask other friends and families that have used bankruptcy attorneys who they have used and if they would recommend that attorney based on experience.
Training and Competence
First off, when it comes to training and competence you generally do not want a lawyer that is a general practitioner. You want to go with an attorney that specializes in bankruptcy law. A general practitioner works in many fields and may have dealt with a couple of bankruptcy cases during their career, but a specialist has dealt primarily in bankruptcy law. This means they know the ins-and-outs of the law and can easily navigate their intricacies.
Secondly, you want an attorney that stays up-to-date on bankruptcy law. While all attorneys have to go through college and pass the bar, the good ones stay informed by attending seminars and studying new laws. If your lawyer is not current on bankruptcy law, they can miss a key legal fact in your filing that may cause you to be denied.
If you have used a general attorney in the past ask them if they can recommend a specialist in bankruptcy law. Also, check online with the state bar association. They usually have specialist referral pages.
Personal Attention to Your Case
Finally, the most important factor to find when searching for the best bankruptcy law firms is to find an attorney that listens to your whole situation before he offers any advice or course of action. All legal situations are different from one individual to the next, so if an attorney doesn’t hear out the specific parameters of your financial situation they are most likely offering out cookie-cutter advice that only applies to you on a general basis and isn’t exactly the best course of action for your specific case.
Take these steps when searching for a personal bankruptcy lawyer and they will help you navigate through all the law firms out there to find the one that is right for you, and get you on the road to a healthier financial future.