The web is filled with legal self-help services that claim to make filing for bankruptcy seem like a relatively simple procedure that anyone can do. However, while you may be able to find and submit the forms, having a bankruptcy lawyer guide you through the process is the best way to ensure that you get the debt relief you're after.
Here are a few reasons why seeking out the services of a professional is the best thing to do when you are considering filing for bankruptcy.
- Legal Expertise: Document preparation services and online tools can type up your petition, but that is as far as they can legally take you. These services cannot provide you with the legal advice you need to successfully file for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy lawyer will go through every aspect of your financial situation with you, helping you to avoid the mistakes that could result in losing valuable property or creditors filing a claim against you.
- Guidance In Filling Out Forms: Bankruptcy forms and paperwork can be incredibly complicated. They will require information that you don't have on hand or can't easily access. Even minor filing mistakes will expose you to liability, or cause your petition to be rejected outright. A bankruptcy lawyer is trained to prepare your petition so that it's both completely error-free and has the highest chance of being successful.
- An Understanding Of The Issues: The issues raised during the bankruptcy process cross over into all areas of the law, such as taxes, inheritances, and personal injury claims. Determining how your petition will impact every area of your life requires the expertise of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Most consumers do not possess the legal skills or knowledge to navigate such delicate financial matters.
- Proper Timing: While you may want immediate relief from your debts, it's important to time the filing of your case correctly so that you can maximize your benefits. If you file too late, you could miss your chance to recover some assets lost to repossession or garnishment. On the other hand, rushing to file the case could cause you to lose assets you could have saved for financial support, such as an inheritance or a tax refund.
For over 35 years, I have provided compassionate services to clients dealing with even the most complex financial issues. I understand how confusing and intimidating the bankruptcy process can be, which is why I am committed to guiding my clients every step of the way. Call (203) 757-3437 to schedule a consultation with a real bankruptcy lawyer today.
◆ Proper Foreclosure Procedures Were Not Followed
A lender seeking to foreclosure a home has to follow strict foreclosure procedures set by the Connecticut Supreme Court. If these procedures and steps are not followed, the borrower can challenge the foreclosure. If the problem is serious, the case can be dismissed and the lender forced to start the foreclosure over. Connecticut does have a rule that absent some fraud or mistake, once the foreclosure is completed, it is done aunt here inso going back.
◆ You Are An Active Member Of The Military
If you are an active member of the military serving our country, no foreclosure can proceed. The lender has to certify to the Court that they have investigated whether or not you are an active service member before they re allowed to obtain a judgment of foreclosure. Military members can utilize the protections afforded by the ServiceMembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which offers assistance to members of the military facing foreclosure.
◆ Mortgage Terms Are Deemed To Be Unconscionable
Unconscionable mortgage terms presents a rarer defense to foreclosure. The mortgage's terms may be unfair or illegal. If you were not represented by a lawyer or otherwise unable to make an informed decision about the mortgage loan, a court could refuse to enforce the mortgage at all.
◆ The Best Defense Is A Good Offense
Connecticut, like many states, has a mediation procedure that offers homeowners a chance at working out the mortgage problems. If requested, the Court will refer the case to an impartial mediator who will facilitate communication between the parties to see what resolution can be made. Solutions include a temporary or permanent reduction in the interest rate, an extension of the life of the loan or a temporary forbearance in the payments. There are also several government programs available, but they are not expected to last after the end of the year.
Across the country, consumers are falling prey to a new scam targeting people who have filed for bankruptcy and others just getting started with the process. Bankruptcy attorneys are joining forces with public officials to sound the alarm bell to unsuspecting consumers.
The con artists are using software that 'spoofs' the Caller ID system so that the call appears to be originating from the phone line of the consumer’s bankruptcy attorney. Victims of the scam are being instructed to immediately wire money to satisfy a debt that supposedly is outside the bankruptcy proceeding. Some consumers have been threatened with arrest if they fail to wire money to pay the debt.
In some instances, the perpetrators are using personal information from public filings to identify consumers, assume the identity of their attorneys and sound more convincing by phone. These calls are typically placed during nonbusiness hours, making it difficult for clients to verify the call by getting in touch with their attorney to ask about it.
The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) and its individual members want consumers to know that under no circumstance would a bankruptcy attorney or staff member telephone a client and ask for a wire transfer immediately to satisfy a debt. Nor would the bankruptcy attorney and staff ever threaten arrest if a debt isn’t paid. The United States Court System has posted a bulletin and warnings have been posted in the states of Virginia and Vermont as well.
Consumers should be advised that legitimate debt collectors and agencies cannot threaten arrest in order to satisfy. If you or a family member receive this kind of call, the best thing to do is to hang up and contact your bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. Do NOT give out any personal or financial account information to the caller.
My office will never call after hours and you should always verify any such instruction by emailing me directly if you should receive such a call.
Why seven years? It turns out that there is no particular reason other than a compromise between the Senate and the House when the Fair Credit Reporting Act was being drafted was back in the late 1960’s. It has nothing to do with the Bible or the Statute of Limitations for collection of a debt. It was just an arbitrary time period picked by elected representatives as a “reasonable” time.
Is it reasonable? The answer is that your history is in the past. If you do things to manage your debt better now and pay everything onetime, most lenders will take that into consideration. While no one knows exactly what does into your credit score, time has to be a factor.
When collecting delinquent accounts, collectors will many times claim to be able to seize bank accounts for the payment of the debt. It’s not so easy. But it is possible. In most cases, you need to be sued first, unless the bank account is with the same institution where the money owed. Read the article on Credit.com for more.
The author of the article turned to well-known Student Loan Lawyer, Josh Cohen, and Attorney Melchionne for an insight on both the scope of the problem and the remedy. The sad end to this story is the same for most young people struggling with student loans; there is no escape in bankruptcy for any student loan. For more, see the story here.