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December 15, 2008
In the past, hiring a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney was as simple as opening a phone book. Today, it isn't quite as easy. When the new bankruptcy laws went into effect in 2007, a provision was included which requires lawyers to attest to their clients bankruptcy petitions. In a nutshell, this provision requires lawyers to state they believe their clients' petition is necessary. If clients are not completely honest when providing details about their financial situation, the attorney assumes significant risk.
Today, retaining the services of a chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney is more costly. In addition to the above mentioned risk, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) require lawyers to engage in additional casework to ensure their clients have a legitimate need to file for bankruptcy protection. This has resulted in higher legal fees; making it more difficult for average Americans to obtain appropriate counsel.