Should I Use a Bankruptcy Preparer to Save Money?
If you are struggling to make ends meet and you are considering filing for bankruptcy protection, you are probably also pinching every penny. Bankruptcy law is complex and can be confusing, so it may seem overwhelming to think about representing yourself if you are not familiar with the law and courtroom procedures. Many people assume that hiring a bankruptcy preparer instead of an attorney to assist them will save them money.
Before you forego working with a lawyer, however, it is important to understand the risks of working with a bankruptcy petition preparer. While the petition preparer’s initial fee may be less than an attorney’s retainer, the serves provided by each are vastly different. The petition preparer uses the financial documentation provided by you to draft your first-day filings for your bankruptcy case. Once your petition has been filed, the preparer’s work is done. A petition preparer is prohibited from practicing law and cannot provide you with any legal advice. Thus, once your initial paperwork has been filed with the court, you are left to fend for yourself in your case.
When you hire an attorney to represent you, he or she will explain all of your debt relief options and help you determine whether filing bankruptcy is the best option for you. He or she will not only prepare your filings, but also be by your side throughout the entire proceeding. An attorney will provide you legal advice and attend all hearings in court with you. Your lawyer will review your entire financial situation and help you anticipate and problems you may encounter before you file so preventative actions can be taken. An attorney also ensures that you claim all applicable exemptions so you can keep possession of as many assets as possible. In sum, having a seasoned bankruptcy attorney represent you could save you a significant amount of time and money throughout your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case.
If you are considering filing a bankruptcy and you need help determining which type of filing would be best for you, contact Fitzgerald Campbell to schedule an appointment. We do not offer just one debt relief option, we don’t push you in one direction. If bankruptcy right for you, we will tell you. If it’s not, we will tell you that. If bankruptcy is your get out of debt plan, it needs to be done right. It needs to be in the hands of experienced lawyers who have been there before. Contact us today!
Posted in: Bankruptcy