There are many good reasons to use an experienced attorney is you are considering filing for bankruptcy. One top reason is that creditors often try to take advantage of people who are filing on their own — which is known as filing “pro se.” Less than scrupulous creditors rightly assume that non-attorneys simply do not have the legal knowledge to handle the process properly. They, the creditors, are in the driver’s seat — they use skilled attorneys to plead their case.
There are many reasons for people to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. One reason in particular is the effect it can have on your car loan. People in Chapter 13 have a chance to reduce their interest rate on a car loan. People with a poor credit rating often get a terrible interest rate on their car loan — 15, 20 percent and even higher. (Learn more about your credit rating here.)
Homeowners sometimes find themselves in trouble by making some common mistakes in filing for bankruptcy.
One of the most important ways to avoid mistakes is by meeting with your attorney before you begin any bankruptcy proceeding. They’ll tell you exactly what to do and, just as important, what not to do.
Interviewer: What are the initial steps or the process? I mean where exactly does one start?
Brad Weil: You have to determine the amount of your debt, you have to determine the nature of your debt, you have to determine your income and you have to determine your expenses. Now, like I said, if you don’t have disposable income, if your expenses exceed your income, you won’t qualify for Chapter 13 because you won’t be able to afford the plan payments, you probably have to do a Chapter 7. And if you exceed the debt limits, then you aren’t going to be able to do a Chapter 13 because you don’t qualify, so you probably going to have to do a Chapter 11 and that gets expensive.