Did you know that roughly one million people file for bankruptcy every year? Bankruptcy isn’t for everyone. However, it, and other forms of debt relief, can be invaluable for people in tough financial situations.
If you’re filing for bankruptcy in North Carolina, then it’s important to get the legal help you need if you want to be successful. But, do you need an attorney to file? And how important is the legal assistance provided by these types of law practices?
In this article, we’ll go over some reasons why you should seriously consider hiring an attorney to help you with your bankruptcy case. But first, let’s go over the important differences between Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13.
What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 is a bankruptcy option that can be taken by both individuals and businesses. With this method, you essentially liquidate all of your assets. In return, your qualifying debt (things like medical bills, personal loans, and credit card balances) is all erased.
The biggest benefit that comes with Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that you don’t need to create a repayment plan to pay back your debtors. Instead, a trustee is appointed to sell any non-exempt property you own to pay off your creditors.
If you don’t have any assets, then your creditors receive nothing. Even if you end up losing your property, Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be worth it. It’s the quickest way to a clean slate, even if it means giving up some important assets.
Still, the particulars depend on the specific case. If you need more information about Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then make sure to check our guide to find out when you should file bankruptcy.
What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Instead of liquidating your debts, Chapter 13 reorganizes the amount that you pay. This option is intended for people in debt who still have a regular income. Instead of appointing a trustee to sell your property, you will submit a repayment plan to the courts. This plan details how you will pay back your debtors — either in full or a portion of the debt.
A lot of information needs to be taken into account when crafting a repayment plan. Things like your income, expenses, and the nature of your debts all come into play.
The biggest benefit that comes with this type of bankruptcy is that you get to keep your assets while still getting debt relief. Still don’t understand Chapter 13 bankruptcy? Follow this link to learn more about how it works.
Why You Should Get Help When Filing For Bankruptcy in North Carolina
Technically, you don’t need an attorney to file for bankruptcy. You can file the forms yourself and represent yourself in court. However, just because you can doesn’t mean that you should.
The reality is that it’s almost always a smart idea to hire legal representation when filing for bankruptcy. In this section, we’ll go over the three main reasons you should get help before filing.
1. They Can Advise Your About Alternatives to Bankruptcy
For some people, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best option for discharging their debts. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s the right choice for you. It’s important to remember that bankruptcy comes with a lot of drawbacks.
As such, a bankruptcy lawyer can give you advice about the best course of action for your financial needs. For example, if the main problem you’re facing is high-interest rates, then they might recommend debt consolidation as an alternative to bankruptcy.
Or, they might recommend debt negotiation. They can also tell you the likelihood of the courts accepting your case and which type of bankruptcy is right for you. This advice is invaluable for the planning stage of this process.
2. Bankruptcy Cases Are Often Complicated, Especially Chapter 13
The brutal truth is that bankruptcy is complicated. It requires extensive documentation, paperwork, and law research to pull off properly. And, one small mistake can easily cause the courts to dismiss your case.
However, if you decide that Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you, then it’s incredibly important to hire an attorney. Even more so than with Chapter 7. The reality is that almost all Chapter 13 cases that are filed without the help of an attorney are dismissed.
Why is this? Because, in addition to the forms you also need to propose a repayment plan to the courts.
This type of plan requires expensive software that only attorneys know how to use. Many of them don’t know how to use it. That’s why you see some attorneys that only take on Chapter 7 cases.
3. Misunderstandings and Mistakes Can Affect Your Rights
There are many mistakes you can make when filing for yourself that can affect your rights in the future. For example, if you don’t properly disclose the correct things, then you can lose your right to discharge forever.
Also, you could accidentally put parts of your income or other assets at risk. Bankruptcy involves a lot of local rules and procedures that the average person can’t understand. As such, it’s easy to make mistakes like these that can have detrimental effects on your case.
Need Bankruptcy Help in Charlotte, NC? Contact Jack G. Lezman PLLC
We hope this article helped you see the importance of getting help when filing for bankruptcy in North Carolina. The reality is that it’s easy to make mistakes even with the most straightforward bankruptcy cases.
As such, you should find a Chapter 7 lawyer, or Chapter 13 attorney, that can provide you with the advice and expertise that you deserve. If you live in the Charlotte, NC area, then look no further than Jack G. Lezman PLLC.
For over two decades Jack has been helping people in need get out of debt. This has given him both the knowledge and the compassion to deal with your case. So, if you’re ready to get out of the debt that’s weighing you down, then get in touch with Jack G. Lezman today.