What should you look for in a Niles bankruptcy attorney?If you are thinking of filing bankruptcy, you want to make sure that you hire a bankruptcy attorney who has experience. There is no substitute for experience. You can only learn so much by reading out of a textbook and you can only learn so much by going to law school. It is not until you actually graduate from law school and starts to practice in a particular field that you can really start to get a good handle on a particular area of law.
In my opinion, it takes anywhere from 3 to 10 years to really feel comfortable with the practice of bankruptcy law and the bankruptcy process and really be able to represent people to the fullest extent. There are many people who come right out of law school and are willing to hang out their shingle that they do all types of different law and they will take any bankruptcy case that comes along thinking that they can adequately represent the debtor. In reality, the representation is far less than perfect and far less than what it would be had that person hired an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
Chapter 7 is fresh start bankruptcy and it is relatively simple compared to a bankruptcy Chapter 13 or even a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case involves the filing of a petition which is filed with the clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The petition has different parts to it. There is a part concerning income, there is a park concerning expenses and there are parts that concern assets and liabilities of the individual. The document is approximately 30 to 60 pages, depending upon how many creditors the individual has. The document needs to be signed under penalty of perjury by the debtor and then it is filed with the court.
Prior to filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor must complete a credit counseling session. A credit counseling session is a one-hour session that can be done on the computer, in person or over the telephone where a credit counselor approved by the office of the United States Bankruptcy Court conducts basically an interview session before you are able to qualify for actual filing. The cost to undergo the credit counseling is approximately $25-$50 depending upon where you take it and it is relatively painless. The credit counseling must be done prior to the case being filed; however, it cannot be done more than 180 days prior to filing. If the credit counseling is done in more than 180 days prior to filing, then the counseling certificate is stale and it can no longer be used as a prerequisite to file the case. This is information that you may not be aware of if you tried to file bankruptcy yourself.