Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Understands the New Laws Implemented in 2005.
Hiring a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney isn't as easy as it used to be. When the new bankruptcy laws went into effect in 2005, a new provision required attorneys to sign-off on their clients' bankruptcy petitions. In essence, they are stating they have thoroughly reviewed their clients' finances and believe the bankruptcy request to be true and valid. This places bankruptcy attorneys at risk in the event their client does not fully disclose their financial situation.
Many chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys chose to take their practice in another direction. Lawyers who stayed in the field were forced to raise their fees due to increased exposure to lawsuits. The additional requirements of the new bankruptcy laws required more casework, which has resulted in higher legal fees. The end result – it is harder to locate chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys and it costs more money to retain their services.
Filing personal or business bankruptcy includes petitioning the court, notifying creditors, scheduling a creditors meeting, obtaining credit counseling and filing specific documents. Many people do not possess the ability to engage in these tasks on their own. Missing a deadline or filing an inappropriate document can result in having the bankruptcy dismissed. Therefore, the majority of people do require the services of a bankruptcy lawyer.
It is important to retain a chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney who is well-versed in the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. BAPCPA is a complex and complicated act. In order to petition the court for bankruptcy, debtors must undergo the "means test" to determine if they are eligible to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. Additionally, debtors must obtain credit counseling through an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee Program.
A good place to locate Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys is through the American Bar Association. Bankruptcy lawyers can also be found in your local phone directory and through lawyer referral networks.
It is a good idea to interview a minimum of three chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers before making your final decision. Most law firms offer a complimentary consultation, while others charge a nominal fee. While it can be tempting to hire the cheapest bankruptcy attorney, this usually isn't the best idea. Remember, you get what you pay for. If you are seriously in debt and want the best chance of having your bankruptcy petition approved, hire an attorney who is best qualified to serve your needs.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy can affect your credit for ten years. Before deciding to file, determine if there are bankruptcy alternatives that can provide a better result. Consider debt consolidation, debt settlement and credit counseling. Learn more about bankruptcy chapters and alternatives to bankruptcy in our news article database.