The Bankruptcy Law Center’s attorneys have filed thousands of bankruptcy cases over the years and are some of the best bankruptcy lawyers in the United States. Thanks to our experience, we’ve heard from a lot of people over the years that have used inexperienced lawyers and who suffered terribly as a result. These people have made critical mistakes. But we can help you avoid bankruptcy mistakes before they happen. Sometimes these people find us after the fact and ask us to “fix” their cases or problems. Sadly, this is not always possible.
Bankruptcy is a legally involved process with complex rules that must be applied thoughtfully to your particular circumstances. When handled by inexperienced lawyers, cases and the corresponding paperwork are often done wrong and lead to disastrous consequences. And sometimes people do things before they file that will ruin or substantially delay their relief—acting on their own or with bad advice from family or friends.
So we’ve collected some suggestions for our friends and clients—some things to consider before you file bankruptcy. Hopefully these suggestions will help keep you out of trouble and on a good path to get the relief from debts that you deserve. And if you want a shortcut for staying out of trouble and understanding your rights, just call us at 1-800-551-7922 or submit a contact form on our website. We’ll meet with you for free and provide you with a roadmap for your successful debt relief.
Despite their best intentions, your friends and family are not bankruptcy experts. We’ve talked to people that have followed this kind of advice and they’ve often destroyed their chances for a successful bankruptcy case before they even get started. Yes, sometimes we can repair the situation, but this can lead to significant delays and risks that they never would have encountered if they’d met with us first.
Are you curious to know what people have done to hurt their bankruptcy chances before they even get started? Some have transferred title to their home or property to a relative or friend. This is a horrible idea and the worst advice you can get. Such transfers can easily be “set aside” or avoided in bankruptcy. A bankruptcy Trustee can sue the transferee to recover title quickly and any equity that the client had in the property would NOT come back to the debtor—but instead it would be recovered by the Trustee for the creditors!
Want another example? We’ve seen clients who were told to “run up” their credit cards before they filed bankruptcy. This will not work and may result in terrible consequences depending on the amounts, the type of items purchased and the timing of the purchases. Keep in mind that the Bankruptcy Code has some very specific limitations on your financial conduct before you file bankruptcy, and this includes credit cards and credit accounts. And the consequences of getting this wrong are serious and may at least delay the date after which you will be able to file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.
Don’t consider filing bankruptcy without first speaking with an expert bankruptcy lawyer. The laws that apply are quite complicated—often involving both State law and Federal Bankruptcy law and rules. If you are thinking about filing a case “pro per” (acting as your own lawyer), think again. There are a multitude of critical decisions that must be made in connection with your case and your paperwork.
An expert bankruptcy lawyer will understand how to guide you through each of these decisions. And a paralegal service (document filing service) will not be able to give you legal advice or to appear with you in Court when any problems arise in your case or in your paperwork. There is simply no substitute for getting assistance from an expert with specific bankruptcy experience and legal training.
So what could go wrong if you don’t hire an expert? You might file under the wrong bankruptcy chapter, resulting in greater cost and delay, or resulting in the dismissal of your case. You could lose assets that could otherwise have been protected. You could fail to discharge tax debts that might have been dischargeable in your bankruptcy case. You might even have your bankruptcy discharge denied. Don’t take chances with your financial future. Choose a lawyer that will bring quality experience and analytical ability to your financial situation and your potential case.
Don’t get discouraged. Maybe it seems to you that there is no solution to your financial problems. We can assure you that this is not the case. But we meet with many people that have become depressed and that don’t understand that they have legal options to get rid of debts and to start a new financial life. What we’ve learned is simple: After meeting with an expert and talking through your options and some solutions to your problems, the sky clears, the storm clouds dissipate and a new point of view emerges! A point of view that says, “Hey, there is a solution” and, “We can do this and stop the anxiety and frustration!”
This is why we practice bankruptcy law. We get to help people solve problems every day. So stay positive and give us a call. Things will improve and you will recover financially and have a fulfilling financial life very soon.
One thing you can do to keep a positive attitude is to recognize that you are not alone if you are facing overwhelming debts and considering bankruptcy as an option. For example, many famous people have filed personal bankruptcy or have had to bankrupt a company that failed. People like Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Larry King (twice), Donald Trump, P. T. Barnum, H.J. Heinz, Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), and Oscar Wilde. Are those names not famous enough for you? Well, here are some others that had to file for themselves or their company: Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson (filed several times), Ulysses S. Grant, Daniel Webster, George McGovern, John Connally (former Texas Governor and Treasury Secretary), William McKinley (25th US President) and J. Fife Symington (former Governor of Arizona, who filed while still in office).
So you get the point. Many people end up with way too much credit card debts or medical bills. Plenty of people face foreclosure on their real estate or the repossession of their autos or even wage garnishment. This happens typically when circumstances change and the debts become unsustainable despite the fact that people expected to pay the obligations when they made them. A job loss or divorce can quickly change your financial circumstances. So can a serious illness or disability. Our recent recession still stings and it left many people struggling to pay debts with lower incomes or radically different expectations.
But the bankruptcy law gives us options to reclaim our financial futures and to rebuild our lives quickly just as many of these famous people did (often more than once)! Please avoid bankruptcy mistakes. Call the Bankruptcy Law Center today to set up a FREE consultation at 1-(800)-551-7922. Don’t live the rest of your life buried in debt. Call today to set up a FREE consultation with one of our lawyers at (800) 551-7922.