If you ask any of the practicing bankruptcy lawyers in Memphis, TN, or wherever you live, the answer to this question would be a resounding yes. They obviously don't want you to do this without them since that's how they make a living. |
However, even if you examine your case objectively, you may find that it's just too difficult to file for bankruptcy without the experience of a lawyer. If you want to protect your assets, discharge most or all of your debts, stop creditors from calling you, avoid appearing before the court, or ask questions about your bankruptcy, then hiring an attorney is essential.
Protect Your Assets
If you have assets that you want to keep, then you're probably going to have to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 13. Chapter 13 is a lot more complicated than Chapter 7. Not only do you have to fill out extensive paperwork to file for bankruptcy, but you also have to understand the rules and regulations surrounding it.
For example, which of your property is exempt? Which of your debts can be restructured, reduced, or completely discharged under the bankruptcy? How much of your earnings have to go toward bankruptcy repayments over the next 3 to 5 years?
Discharge Your Debts
The goal of a bankruptcy is to discharge your debts, preferably all of them. Unfortunately, some debts cannot be discharged under any type of bankruptcy. But it's sometimes possible to reduce them and make payments under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In order to discharge your debts through bankruptcy, you still have to meet the filing requirements and submit to the bankruptcy rules and regulations in your area.
The easiest form of bankruptcy is a simple Chapter 7. If you don't own much or earn much and your debts can be discharged, then you can possibly do this on your own. However, you'll still have to pay the court a filing fee, fill out the appropriate paperwork, and meet the deadlines.
Stop Creditors from Calling You
By law, creditors are not allowed to call you or bother you in any way about repaying your debt after you have filed for bankruptcy. Until the bankruptcy court makes a decision in your case, there is a temporary stay during which you have some breathing room. The bad news is that your creditors won't know that you've filed for bankruptcy unless you take steps to inform them.
This is where a lawyer can come in real handy. Any concerns regarding your debts will be directed to your lawyer so that you really don't have to deal with your creditors. If your creditors object to the repayment plan you propose for your bankruptcy or to the bankruptcy discharge of your Chapter 7, then an attorney can deal with that situation as well.
Avoid Appearing before the Court
At some point during your bankruptcy proceedings, you might have to make an appearance before the bankruptcy court. At the very least, you'll be dealing with the administrative side of the paperwork for several weeks. This is another reason why many people prefer to hire an attorney to help them. After all, it's difficult enough to file for bankruptcy without having to know your way around a courtroom.
Ask Questions about Bankruptcy
One of the most important reasons why you might like to hire one of the bankruptcy lawyers in Memphis, TN, or wherever you live, is that you probably have a lot of questions about your bankruptcy. If you file on your own, it's going to take a lot of time and difficult research to answer them. On the other hand, having a lawyer means that there is someone you can ask, whether you need to know what happens next or how long it's going to take until your debts have been discharged through bankruptcy.
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