As a law firm focused on helping individuals understand their legal rights under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code, one of the recurring remarks we hear is that people never thought they would utilize this option. In fact, a recent article addressed this very sentiment.
The surprise may be due to a misunderstanding of the counsel that a bankruptcy attorney can provide. When a client comes to our office, our intake is designed to help them review their legal options. We do not immediately start preparing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing.
Examining All of Your Debt Management Options
For example, we examine whether there are other options for handling the client’s debt. We also scrutinize the collection efforts taken against our client. If creditors are making harassing demands, an attorney’s involvement may get them back in line. There may also be debt consolidation options.
We also counsel our clients on the long-term benefits and implications of filing for bankruptcy. Although a filing may remain on an individual’s credit report for up to 10 years, other defaulted financial obligations may already be there. In addition, non-payments over an extended period may do as much, if not more, damage to a credit report.
Finally, if bankruptcy seems to be a strategic way to discharge a client’s debt, we will review the options under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Each filing offers a different result, although Chapter 7 also imposes a means requirement. Check out our website to learn more about the differences between these two options.
Source: MSNBC, “For some consumers, bankruptcy is the solution to crushing debt,” Sarah O’Brien, Apr. 7, 2018