Many Americans are in financial distress from the pandemic. If you feel overwhelmed by medical debt, credit card debt, student loans, or tax debt, you’re not alone. One of the best ways to obtain debt relief and reclaim your financial future is to file a bankruptcy.
Now, you may be anxious about what should happen when you step foot in a bankruptcy law firm. Read on for a comprehensive guide about what you should be doing at the law office as well as the benefits of hiring a bankruptcy attorney!
If you want to get your financial freedom, don’t hesitate. Get in touch with our experienced Portland bankruptcy attorney to get your fresh start today!
Why You Should Hire a Bankruptcy Lawyer
So you’re considering filing bankruptcy. Well, you can go about it by representing yourself “pro se.” However, bankruptcy law can be complicated and a single mistake can cost you your chance to get out of debt. The services of experienced bankruptcy attorneys in Portland can ensure that the bankruptcy process goes in your favor.
There are also many things to take into consideration because there are different types of debt and different types of bankruptcy filings under the US bankruptcy code. A skilled bankruptcy lawyer can take all of this into account to find the best option for you. If you don’t know whether you need to declare bankruptcy or if there are alternatives for you, talk to a Portland bankruptcy lawyer for legal help.
Once you’ve decided to file, your attorney will protect all your rights and maximize the benefits you receive. Skilled bankruptcy lawyers can ensure that your creditors respect your rights, all your dischargeable debts are eliminated, all possible property is protected. They will also see to it that life after bankruptcy can go as smoothly as possible.
Bankruptcy protection offers you an opportunity to reclaim your life. A competent attorney knows the bankruptcy law and the process inside and out. They will help with getting out of your financial problems and rebuilding your life. Call our Portland law firm now for more information about declaring bankruptcy!
What Do I Bring to the Bankruptcy Law Office?
It can be stressful walking into a bankruptcy law firm to file for bankruptcy. One of the best ways to ease your worries is to make sure that you’re prepared. There are documents and files you can bring so that you and your local attorney can decide on the best course of action.
Below is a list of the documents you should bring to your first meeting. Documents for your outstanding loans;
- A list of all creditors, including the amount you owe, the account numbers, and contact information;
- Financial documents (like tax returns, wage statements, receipts, bank account statements;
- Property items that are subject to repossession or liens;
- Information about your major assets and real property that you own or rent;
- Other financial information that can be relevant to your bankruptcy;
Feel free to ask your attorney about other documentation you may need. They may also ask you to provide other relevant documents depending on the nature of your case.
You must be 100% transparent with your bankruptcy attorney. They are here to help you out and the best way for them to do so is by analyzing all information related to your case. The more information you and your attorney share, the easier the bankruptcy proceedings will be.
What if I Can’t Find a Document or If I Forgot To Bring One?
If you’ve tried your best but can’t find them all, don’t worry. The most important thing is to talk to the bankruptcy attorney.
If there’s a document that you cannot find or forgot to bring, be sure to tell your attorney as soon as you can so they can take the necessary actions. Don’t worry or panic, the bankruptcy court usually allocates additional time so you can gather everything you need for the bankruptcy proceeding.
You have to avoid being accused of not properly disclosing your assets or fraud. Make a reasonable effort to locate the documents and communicate with the parties involved, like lenders, employers, or banks.
What Does the Bankruptcy Process Look Like?
It depends on what bankruptcy chapter you file under. Typically, individual consumers can choose to liquidate their assets under Chapter 7 or reorganize their debts under Chapter 13, two types of personal bankruptcy depending on their needs.
Once you file any type of bankruptcy, the court places an automatic stay. This order prevents collection agencies, debt collectors, or debt attorneys from undertaking any collection effort, including collection calls and lawsuits.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation bankruptcy. You’ll need to pass a means test to file bankruptcy under this chapter. Here, a bankruptcy trustee sells your nonexempt property and distributes the proceeds to your creditors before paying off your debt. The debts remaining after this process gets discharged. Examples of dischargeable debts include unsecured debt like credit card debt and medical bills. Unsecured debt not eligible for discharge includes spousal and child support, student loans, recent tax debt, debt incurred by fraud, recent debt for luxury items, and court judgments arising out of intoxicated driving cases.
Chapter 13 is a reorganization bankruptcy. There is no income requirement for a bankruptcy filing under this chapter. Here, you’ll propose a repayment plan to pay off all your debts. This can take 3-5 years depending on your income. Once you have completed your monthly payments, you can get your debts discharged.
What Types of Issues Should I Anticipate?
Bankruptcy is a complicated legal process. It’s not unusual to run into some issues along the way. We list below some of the more common problems that we’ve seen in bankruptcy cases so you can prepare for them.
Lack of Documentation
As you have seen above, there are a lot of documents needed in bankruptcies. There is much more paperwork and bankruptcy forms you have to fill out. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can review everything to ensure that nothing is missing from your bankruptcy petition.
Bankruptcy is a Public Matter
Bankruptcy information is available to anyone. Once your bankruptcy process begins, your friends, family, landlord, or employer can look through the files to see your bankruptcy.
Credit Score Will Tank
If you choose bankruptcy to wipe out your debt problems, you’ll see your credit score decrease. A bankruptcy can stay for years on your credit report. However, since bankruptcy provides you a fresh start, you have the opportunity to rebuild your credit score. All it takes is dedication and discipline to get your credit score back up.
Filing for bankruptcy offers you the chance to get back on your feet after financial hardship. Bankruptcy laws provide Americans with the proper process to get rid of or repay their debts when they go bankrupt. It’s important to have skilled legal counsel with you so that your bankruptcy filing goes smoothly.
Our attorneys at Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm are dedicated to your financial success. We can help you overcome common obstacles like stop foreclosure, prevent wage garnishment, or stop creditor harassment with your bankruptcy filing.
Take your first step to a secure financial future by calling our Portland bankruptcy law firm today for a free consultation.