If you have reached the point in your personal finances where it is clear that you cannot pay off your debts by cutting back on your expenses and selling off your assets, you will likely be looking for a form of debt relief. You will have two basic choices: using a debt relief company or a bankruptcy attorney. There are four reasons to choose a bankruptcy attorney.
An attorney can help restructure your debt
There is more than one type of bankruptcy, and an attorney can help you file for what is called Chapter 13. Under this filing, your debts will be restructured and often reduced. A payment plan will be created and approved by a bankruptcy judge. Once you have finished making your payments, your bankruptcy will be discharged, and you will be debt free. With a debt relief company, there is no guarantee that your debts will ever be legally discharged.
An attorney can stop debt collectors from calling you
You may read or hear that a debt relief company can stop harassing phone calls, but they have no legal way of doing this. However, once you hire an attorney, he or she becomes your legal representative. If a collection agency wants to discuss your debt situation, they must call your attorney and leave you alone.
An attorney can handle any lawsuits
A debt relief company will often claim that they can stop lawsuits against you, but this is not possible. An attorney, on the other hand, may be able to prevent a lawsuit or stop one with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing. Creditors, of course, have a right to be paid, but it is an attorney that knows what your rights are as well, and they can stand up for your interests in a bankruptcy court.
Creditors respect an attorney
Unlike a debt relief company, a creditor or collection agency will have a great deal of respect for an attorney. Your attorney is your legal representative, and those seeking payment for your debts are less likely to play games. Phone calls will be made and letters will be sent to your attorney. There is little motivation to speak to a debt relief company.
If you are not sure whether Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best path for you, you can sit down with an attorney (such as Harold Jarnicki Attorney At Law) to discuss your financial situation. Most bankruptcy attorneys will offer a free consultation. This is a better option than going down the path of using the services of a debt relief company.