Nobody ever wants to go through the process of bankruptcy, but in the case of thousands or more in unmanageable debt, it may be necessary. If you’re experiencing a bankruptcy or think you might, you’re not alone: around one in 70 households in the U.S. will eventually encounter a bankruptcy. The trick to dealing with this issue in the best way possible is to find a bankruptcy attorney who will work with you every step of the way.
Finding a good bankruptcy lawyer may seem easier said than done, but it’s easy to evaluate one based on your expectations. Here are three things you should expect from any bankruptcy lawyers you work with for your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy:
1. A clear explanation of what to expect. Many people walk into a bankruptcy case not knowing the difference between Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies or how either process workers. While a bankruptcy attorney can give you a more clear explanation for these types of filings, here is a brief explanation of each:
- Chapter 7 is a liquidation of a person’s unsecured assets — meaning that they are sold or repossessed in order to pay back debt. While this could meaning losing a home or vehicle, it will relieve your debt faster than filing Chapter 13.
- Chapter 13 reorganizes debt so it is easier to pay back over time. Because many debtors are faced with having to pay their debts right away, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives them the ability to pay back what they owe over a longer period of time (usually about three to five years). This form of bankruptcy makes it easier to salvage a home or car.
2. Good communication during your case. A bankruptcy filing can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to file and complete. No matter which type of bankruptcy you’ve chosen to claim, all bankruptcy lawyers should be available when you need them in order to address your concerns.
3. Help after you’ve filed for bankruptcy. Once your bankruptcy is completed, you will likely see your credit score decrease significantly. However, many bankruptcy lawyers today will help you rebuild your credit and work with you until you feel confident on your own. Find out ahead of time what plans your lawyer has in place to help you with your credit once your filing is completed.
Above all, you’ll want to work with an attorney who will support you every step of the way and offer the guidance you need to turn your bankruptcy into a positive rather than a negative. Have more questions? Leave a comment below. Ger more information on this topic here.