How to get honest bankruptcy advice
By David Pilley
on May 27, 2011
Where is the right place to go to get bankruptcy advice? This can be a difficult question to answer if you’ve never dealt with bankruptcy before. First, I would always ask any friends or family members if they have gone through the bankruptcy process to get a better understanding with reliable information. However, if you don’t know anybody who’s gone through it, you’ll need to do some research. If you’re looking for a bankruptcy attorney, you need to make sure you’re getting honest information. At the same time, you also need to be honest in disclosing the right financial information to get the best results.
When searching for a bankruptcy attorney, you should pay attention to experience and where you will be filing. You might think looking at who offers the lowest price would be good, but a low price does not necessarily mean better quality. Experience is the key, and someone who has been in the business for a while— and who also focuses primarily on bankruptcy— will know the ins and outs of the process and will be a better resource for honest information. Being affiliated with the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
(NACBA) may also be something to look at. NACBA is recognized by members of Congress and the Judicial Branch, and it is a good national resource for consumer tips as well as finding an attorney in your area. Having an attorney who works in your local district is also important for following proper procedures. If the person doesn’t work in your district, he/she might not know all the rules, and you could end up having your bankruptcy case dismissed because of it.
When you find a bankruptcy attorney, you need to be honest in what information you disclose. First, you must share all of your income and financial assets. Every bank account, investment, legal judgment, and even your retirement plans must be disclosed because you could be fined or even jailed if you hide something when you’re filing for bankruptcy. You also need to make a complete list of your debt, as well as the property you want to protect. Auto loans, student loans, credit card debt, medical bills, and the rest of your outstanding debts need to be known. At the same time, you might think all of your property will be liquidated to take care of the bankruptcy, but some property like your home and car may be protected from seizure. You need to make clear that you wish to keep this property. Finally, you need to disclose what you’re making payments on and what you’re not. Are you still trying to pay off one of your credit cards or a medical bill? This information can better determine which debts will be forgiven once legal procedures get under way.
Being honest will in turn make the other person be honest, and honesty is the best policy when you are seeking bankruptcy advice.
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