You're planning on filing for bankruptcy, but you don't know if you should hire an attorney. In some cases, you might not need to hire an attorney, especially if you have few assets and are low income. However, if you have numerous assets that you want to protect, you should sit down with an attorney before reaching a decision. Here are four additional reasons you should hire an attorney.
You Don't Want To Lose Your House or Car
If you own a home or a car, and you want to keep them, you should speak with an attorney before proceeding with your bankruptcy paperwork. While it is possible to retain ownership of both items, you'll need legal assistance to do so.
You Have Student Loans
If you have student loans that you would like to have discharged through bankruptcy, you will need legal advice. Most student loans cannot be discharged, which means they'll survive the bankruptcy and you'll still be responsible for their repayment. However, if you would experience undue financial hardship by repaying them, you may be eligible for an undue hardship exception. Your attorney can explain the exception and help determine your eligibility. Some of the requirements for this exception include:
- Poverty – you can't pay the debt and provide for your basic needs
- Persistence – you expect your current financial status to continue indefinitely
- Good faith – you've tried to repay your student loans.
You Have Creditors Who Are Fighting the Bankruptcy
When you file for bankruptcy, your creditors are notified. Once they've been notified, they have the opportunity to go to court and argue that your debt should not be discharged. If you have creditors who are trying to prevent you from including their debt on the bankruptcy, you'll need legal assistance.
You Are Facing Eviction
If you're behind on your rent and your landlord has served you with eviction papers, you'll need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will be able to get the eviction cancelled so that you can remain in your home. However, you'll still have to pay rent from that point forward. If you fall behind on your rent again, your landlord will be able to proceed with the eviction.
Bankruptcy is a way to get out from under debt and regain your financial stability. Don't take chances with your future. If any of the situations described above apply to your present situation, you need to speak to a bankruptcy attorney (such as one from Wiesner & Frackowiak, LC).