Bankruptcy is a powerful option when it comes to debt relief and credit problems. While it can’t wipe out every debt you may owe, it can help you regain some measure of financial control and security. In many ways, it’s a last resort after exhausting other options. Even people who will clearly qualify for a bankruptcy are encouraged to explore other options first. If or when an individual decides to file for bankruptcy, generally Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 are the options available. While someone can manage the process entirely on their own, there’s no denying that bankruptcy law in California is complex. Hiring a Sacramento bankruptcy lawyer not only will help make the process easier, it may also help you financially in the long run!
What can a Sacramento bankruptcy lawyer do for me?
The process of bankruptcy involves financial counseling and a lot of paperwork. Trying to keep track of everything alone while also trying to deal with everything else in your life is not easy. Mistakes can be very costly, even jeopardizing the whole process. Some people set out to file bankruptcy not knowing that they need to complete an approved credit counseling course first! It’s things like this that make hiring a good Sacramento bankruptcy lawyer a smart decision.
When your property is on the line, you don’t want to miss a single deadline or meeting. For example, most bankruptcy filers need to attend a single Meeting of Creditors. Known also as a 341 Meeting, attendance is required. Your entire case may be dismissed if you fail you attend.
Staying on top of the paperwork
A Sacramento bankruptcy lawyer can help you stay aware of everything you need to get done. This is never a short process. On average, a Chapter 7 can take anywhere from three to five months in court. Chapter 13 cases can last between three to five years. You’ll have paperwork to get done, meetings and court appearances to make in that time.
You will be required to fill out many official forms to start the process, and you can expect more as it moves forward. You’ll want to keep copies of the forms you submit, and your lawyer will also keep things on file. There is no such thing as being too careful when your financial peace of mind is at stake!
What should I look for in a Sacramento bankruptcy lawyer?
Referrals from friends can be a good start, but you’ll want to do some footwork of your own. Meet with prospective lawyers and firms to get an idea of how your situation will be treated. Look on the website of the attorney or law firm in question. For example, the Law Office of Seth L. Hanson specializes entirely in bankruptcy.
This focus means a lot of good things. You’re certain to get help from an experienced bankruptcy attorney. That alone can make the process less stressful, since you’re certain to have all your questions answered, and all your paperwork in order.
Not every attorney or law firm focuses solely on bankruptcy, and that’s not a bad thing either! What is important is that you select an attorney who demonstrates solid knowledge about the process you’re about to go through. Many firms offer a free consultation, and this is a great opportunity to get a feel for a prospective attorney. If they’re knowledgeable and make you feel comfortable about the process, that’s a big plus.
It’s also a good chance to review your financial circumstances. You may be in the market for a Sacramento bankruptcy lawyer, but it isn’t always the best solution. Many attorneys have turned back clients who were going to do more harm to themselves if they filed bankruptcy. If that ends up being the case, make a note of that lawyer or their practice: that’s someone who’s looking out for the people walking through their doors. If you do need to declare bankruptcy in the future, that’s a lawyer you can rely on.