The legal industry has become very specialized over the last few years. Even with bankruptcy cases, there is a division among chapters. You may need a Lansing bankruptcy attorney or you may need a creditor attorney. It all depends upon what type of service you are seeking. For every debtor who is looking to eliminate debt, there is a creditor who is looking to collect upon a debt. Under Chapter 7, there are often no assets to be administered for the benefit of unsecured creditors. That is why Chapter 7 bankruptcy is commonly known as the fresh start type of bankruptcy. The debtor literally can eliminate all of his debt in certain cases.
As with any type of legal case, you should consider hiring a qualified attorney. If you live in Chicago, Illinois, there are many attorneys who are familiar with handling a Chicago bankruptcy filing. Just do you due diligence and find one that fits your style, not their style. For example, you may want to work with a solo attorney and you should expect that said solo attorney will have the time to assist you. Other debtors seek the broad nature of a larger bankruptcy law firm. Those debtors feel that with a large group, they will benefit from the collective expertise of the entire firm. Either choice can work well.
Maybe you want to forego hiring a bankruptcy firm and you think that you should file bankruptcy yourself. This is never a good idea in my opinion. The cases are just too complicated under the current law. There are too many things that can go wrong for a non-attorney. In fact, there are plenty of things that can go wrong if have an attorney. Not every attorney in skilled in bankruptcy law. Many attorneys feel that they can take a case here and there and still be successful. Experience shows that the better attorneys are one that handles that area of law with regularity.
Keep in mind that there are also some alternatives to bankruptcy. Many of the debtors who come to see me have other options that are often times, better than filing for bankruptcy. For example, some creditors will accept monthly payments provided the debtor is employed. The debtor can also allow for a garnishment to satisfy the debt. What I hate to see is a client who has depleted his 401(k) or other retirement account. These are funds that could have been protected should the client have elected to file for bankruptcy. Since each case is different, I strongly suggest meeting with a qualified bankruptcy attorney in your area.