It is not an easy decision for someone to hire a Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer. When the realization occurs where one knows that he needs to file, there is yet another step to explore prior to filing. The step that I write about is the step where the debtor learns all of his bankruptcy options. Often times, there is not one simple procedure that can solve all of the issues. Take for example the case where someone only has student loans, but doesn’t have the income to support a long term payment plan. Chapter 7 would be desirable, but the relief will not be available.
In other cases, Chapter 13 is really the option that would fit the bill. However, the person may have filed a Chapter 13 before and may not be eligible for a discharge. These are items that you would want to discuss with your Chicago bankruptcy lawyer. In additional to the fees and the time frame, you want to learn how a particular chapter will help you. In some cases, the debtor falls in between the two major chapters. Chapter 7 won’t assist for some reason and Chapter 13 may not be the debtor’s desire. In those situations, the debtor may be best not filing any form of bankruptcy.
When neither chapter fits the bill, the debtor should explore his alternatives to bankruptcy. These may include dealing with creditors directly. It could be in the form of an installment payment plan or a lump sum, compromised debt settlement. Some debtors may simply allow for their wages to be garnished because 15% is better than what the creditor would have accepted directly. Others may seek to avoid collection efforts in the hope that the creditor will stop pursuing the debt. Although none of these scenarios are great, they may provide a remedy short of filing for the relief under the bankruptcy code.
Should you decide that the best option is for you to claim bankruptcy, consider the advice of a seasoned, skilled bankruptcy professional. Seek an attorney that has experience in the area. Do not seek an attorney based solely on price. You may find that you get what you pay for. Just because an attorney is cheaper does not mean that he is just as good as another attorney. Try to learn about the attorney’s reputation through asking questions of others who have been through the process. Check out the attorney’s qualifications with the bar associations. With so much information readily available today, there is no excuse not to do your homework.