Hiring a lawyer is the most costly aspect of filing bankruptcy. With so much debt weighing them down, some people feel they can’t justify paying the bankruptcy lawyer’s fee. They want to try to file either their Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy without legal aid. From a legality standpoint, anyone can do this, but sometimes filing bankruptcy without the help of an established law firm can make the process more difficult than it needs to be. At Groce & DeArmon, we don’t advise anyone to try filing bankruptcy on their own, but if you do your research, pay meticulous attention to detail, and keep up with all the steps, you can successfully file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Determine If You Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
You must take a means test before any other step. A means test allows you to determine your eligibility for filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy by taking into consideration your income, the number and value of your assets, and your debt. The less money you make and fewer assets you own, the higher chance that your case will be simple enough to possibly handle on your own.
If you do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then you will have to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This form of bankruptcy takes a more complicated route. Chapter 13 bankruptcy forces you to make a repayment plan that the court must approve. Bankruptcy lawyers trained for this and write repayment plans on a regular basis. They can help you get approved.
Before you can properly fill out your bankruptcy paperwork, you must gather all the information you can about your debt. A credit report will tell you exactly what you owe and to whom. Once you have reports from all three major credit bureaus, you will need to talk to an approved credit education and counseling service provider.
After you figure out your debt information and meet with a counselor, you will need to actually file the bankruptcy paperwork. You will need to download specific forms and fill out all the paperwork carefully. If you miss any steps or overlook anything in either this or the previous process, you could miss out on liquidating some unsecured debts.
Meeting the Trustee
After you finish all the paperwork, you will need to meet with the trustee to go over your case. He or she will ask you about your debt, assets, and overall bankruptcy. You need to answer each question honestly, and a bankruptcy lawyer can really help prepare you for this.
Don’t Do It Alone
Though you might be tempted to save money by not hiring a bankruptcy lawyer, working with a law firm will provide you with a simpler, more efficient, and more comprehensive bankruptcy. We streamline the process for you and help you take care of the most complicated aspects of the process. Contact Groce & DeArmon, P.C. to get started on your Chapter 7 bankruptcy.