What does a lawyer do in bankruptcy?

Petitioners who are looking to cut the costs of their bankruptcy may choose to represent themselves instead of retaining a bankruptcy lawyer. While this may significantly cut the cost of your filing, you are likely missing out on some key resources that can help the case move along quicker, more efficiently, and without complications. In fact, without the guidance and advice of an attorney, there is a distinct risk that your bankruptcy may remain incomplete, leaving you with the same debt as before and no path to discharge. 

By having an attorney on your side, you’re sure to receive experienced legal advice, have significantly less paperwork to complete, and benefit from an advocate who will be there to walk you through the process and any questions you may have. Bankruptcy lawyers handle this process for a living, meaning they’ve seen many of the unexpected complications that may arise, and they are equipped to handle the situation while keeping you on the path to successful completion. 

If you’re wondering if retaining a lawyer is the right decision for your petition, you can talk with an experienced Florida bankruptcy attorney, confidentially and with no cost or commitment.   

Having A Knowledgeable Advocate On Your Side

Not only do bankruptcy attorneys have more experience than the average petitioner, but they have also undergone years of additional education to prepare themselves for any and all of the unique scenarios that may come up during a bankruptcy. 

Every bankruptcy case is different, yet every case deserves the same level of dedication to ensure the best outcome possible. An attorney can provide that dedication to your case, so you can focus on the other parts of rehabilitating your finances. 

The bankruptcy process can be overwhelming to the inexperienced, but an attorney is armed with the necessary means to take the bulk of the work off your hands. In fact, only 2% of independent filers for Chapter 13 bankruptcy succeeded, while 41.5% of those who retained an attorney were able to successfully discharge debts after completing their Chapter 13 payment plan. 

When you choose to file your petition independent of a lawyer, you are somewhat left in the dark about how to organize your process. Public employees and other court officials are prohibited from aiding you in your case. They are not allowed to answer specific questions, provide legal advice, or help you complete any forms. 

In fact, the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts explicitly recommend that filers seek out the services of an experienced attorney. Over 90% of Chapter 7 filers retained representation, and they were successful in discharging unsecured debt 96% of the time. Out of the mere 9% of independent Chapter 7 filers, only 66% of them were successful in discharging their debt. While debt discharge cannot be guaranteed, having a lawyer represent your case statistically improves your chances of success. 

Access To Sound Legal Advice

If you choose to represent yourself, there may be no one to guide you through any rocky waters that you may encounter. 

A lawyer can start by helping you assess your debt to decide which type of bankruptcy is the best, most efficient option for your situation. Next, they can highlight any potential risks in the process to ensure that you clearly understand what you’re walking into before a petition is created. 

An attorney can also help you understand any incoming paperwork regarding your collectors or your ongoing petition, and they are prepared to solve any related problem. If you have questions or concerns about your case, your bankruptcy lawyer will be right there to offer advice and reassurance where possible. 

There are many benefits to going into this complex legal proceeding with knowledgeable representation at your side, so if you have a busy schedule or feel anxious about the filing, you can benefit from the reduced procedural burden and peace of mind that can come with an attorney representing you.

Reduce Your Paperwork Load 

Bankruptcy comes with a lengthy packet of documents that have to be filled out in an accurate and organized manner. For an average petitioner, just looking at those documents would probably lead to self-doubt and anxiety about getting each one right. Manually filling out each of those forms can take a significant amount of time, but most bankruptcy attorneys use specialized software to cut that processing time down, which will help you discharge debt faster.  

Your attorney will ask for records of your income, expenses, dependents, and deductions, and then use that information to prepare your documents accordingly and automatically. Once the documents are prepared, your attorney will go over the information with you one last time to ensure accuracy and avoid any complications in court. 

Representation At Meetings

One of the things people find most daunting about the bankruptcy process is the required meetings. Without representation, you’d be going into creditor meetings unprepared, which gives the collectors more leverage in asking you unfair questions. 

When you have legal representation sitting at the table with you, they will advocate for only fair questioning and oversee the professionalism of the meeting. Every petitioner is required to attend this meeting of the creditors (commonly referred to as the 341 meeting), but other hearings may be necessary depending on the logistics of your case; there may be Chapter 13 confirmation hearings, Chapter 7 reaffirmation hearings, or any other motion or objection brought forth by you or the collecting party. Sometimes negotiations are necessary, and a lawyer can act on your behalf with more confidence and, of course, legal knowledge than the average petitioner. 

Find An Experienced Florida Bankruptcy Lawyer In Your Area 

If you are considering a bankruptcy attorney, let us help you. Our bankruptcy team at Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd and Lloyd offers a completely free case review at your convenience with no commitment. We have multiple locations on the Treasure Coast, and one in Okeechobee. 

During your free initial appointment, we’ll be happy to answer any pressing questions that you may have and help you understand the complexities of your unique legal situation. We are adamant about helping Floridians like you get back on track with their finances, and we want them to experience a fresh start from a successful debt discharge. We’d love to help! Contact us online or call (866) 930-6435 to schedule your free, confidential, initial consultation.

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302 South Second Street
Ft. Pierce, FL 34950
Phone: (772) 464-4600
Fax: (772) 465-4747
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Port St. Lucie, FL 34952
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Vero Beach, FL 32960
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Phone: (772) 646-0662
Fax: (772) 646-0662