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.
You can find a bunch of information on the internet about filing for bankruptcy, but what happens afterwards?
Here are three things that you can expect:
- Debts are discharged - For consumers, the best part of filing for bankruptcy is the elimination of your debt without giving anything up. The Bankruptcy Trustee may try to take your property to pay back your creditors, but a skilled bankruptcy lawyer can help you keep it without losing anything.
- Creditor Go Away, Don't Come Back Any Day: There are several types of bankruptcy for consumers and they all offer an automatic stay, which immediaty stops any attempts to collect. This is true for civil judgments that may have already entered bu also for phone calls and collection letters, wage garnishments, repossessions and most kinds of court actions.
- A Fresh Start: IMost people believe that filing for bankruptcy will have an effect on their credit score. The Credit Score is the great marketing gimmick of the credit industry and it does not matter much. Many consumers can rebuild their credit immediately, but the secret is to avoid getting back into debt. Planning for the future is more important than having that shiny new thing. It is more important to have only a few current credit accounts that can rebuild your credit.
A study by the Federal Reserve found that when dealing with debt, it was better to file bankruptcy than struggle monthly to pay off debt.
Attorney Melchionne was a featured speaker at the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys in San Francisco on May 20 - 22, 2016. During the Convention in, Attorney Melchionne met with colleagues from around the country to share ideas and new developments in Bankruptcy Law, Foreclosure Defense, Credit and Student Loan forgiveness. In his role on the Board of Directors for NACBa, he also helped plan the three days of seminars and spoke at several of the sessions.
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.
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.