The Importance of Working With a Lawyer When Filing for Bankruptcy
While bankruptcy filings have been decreasing since 2010, there are still many people who are struggling financially. Common money problems revolve around unexpected and extensive medical bills, insurmountable credit card debt with high-interest rates, and unaffordable mortgage payments.
If you find yourself in a situation where you’re struggling with bills and have reached your limit, you may want to consider bankruptcy and what filing could mean for your future. Depending on your situation, bankruptcy could offer you a chance at a clean slate and the opportunity to build a healthy financial situation for you and your family. Filing, however, is complicated. Fortunately, our bankruptcy lawyers in Baltimore are here for you. Let’s take a look at the importance of working with a lawyer when filing for bankruptcy in Maryland.
Benefits of Working With a Bankruptcy Attorney
Overall, working with an attorney to file bankruptcy will help you accomplish the following:
- Assessing and understanding all of your debt relief options
- Ensuring a successful bankruptcy filing
- Understanding what to anticipate throughout the process and in the future
While it’s important to note you do have the legal right to file for bankruptcy without an attorney, which is referred to as pro se bankruptcy, it is unusual to do so. Because of the extensive paperwork and complex laws affecting your situation, it’s best to work with an experienced legal representative who can ensure no mistakes are made.
Planning and Preparing for Bankruptcy in Maryland
Bankruptcy is a complex legal process. It’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of how to plan and preparing for filing—regardless of whether you’re filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. When you work with a lawyer, the first step they’ll take to is consider whether you have any other options like negotiating with creditors or getting help from a credit counseling agency.
If bankruptcy is the chosen path, they’ll help you determine which type to file—which will mostly be dependent on your income. While Chapter 7 will wipe out a significant amount of debt in a short amount of time, Chapter 13 has the potential to save your house and other assets if you’re behind on payments.
Once you have a plan in place, your lawyer can help you prepare for filing. This includes applying for the means test, valuing your property, choosing and applying for exemptions, and determining which debts are eligible for discharge.
Legal Representation During a Bankruptcy Case
Planning and preparing to file for bankruptcy is only the beginning. The actual filing process involves a number of important steps. Failing to complete even one could result in a dismissal of your case and an inability to manage your debts. To ensure this does not happen, your lawyer will do the following throughout your bankruptcy case:
- Complete schedules and other paperwork
- Guide you through the bankruptcy process
- Help you provide accurate and complete testimony when you meet with your creditors
- Handle any issues if creditors violate the automatic stay or any other applicable laws
- Negotiate with creditors
- Help you modify a Chapter 13 repayment plan in the event your circumstances change
The lawyers at Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC are well-versed in Maryland bankruptcy law, so we’re prepared to evaluate your situation, help you prepare for bankruptcy if that’s how you decide to proceed, and guide you through the process so you can move forward with a more secure financial future.
Learn How to Rebuild Credit After Bankruptcy
Once your bankruptcy case has concluded, you may not know where to go next. Fortunately, your lawyer can help you with that as well. Bankruptcy attorneys understand how cases affect filers. Your lawyer will be able to advise you of the effect filing will have on your credit and give you advice on rebuilding credit in a responsible manner.
Depending on your situation and debt history, they may be able to put you in touch with a financial advisor who will be able to provide continued guidance, so you don’t run into debt problems again.
Get Help From Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC in Baltimore
If you’re ready to take control of your finances, get in touch with our law firm today. Filing bankruptcy takes time, so the sooner you get your paperwork filed, the sooner you won’t have to worry about dealing with harassing creditors and bills.
Contact us today to schedule a case evaluation. We’ll help you determine the best decision for your financial future, so you can move forward confidently and put your debt behind you.
How to File for Bankruptcy in Maryland