For those in financial distress Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a wonderful option. It is a low cost answer for most people.
According to a chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer in Northern Virginia, “A Chapter 7 case can be considered a no-asset case. This is because it allows you to file for affordable bankruptcy to get out of debt while holding on to your property”.
But can you do it without the assistance of a lawyer?
Yes, you may, because the laws do not require you to hire a bankruptcy attorney.
If your situation is a no asset case, then the entire task can be completed within 5-6 months’ time from the date the petition is filed.
Nevertheless, if you can afford a lawyer, it is a sensible decision because bankruptcy issues can be complicated at times and legal counsel is just the thing you may need.
Yet, if you are short of funds, there are options for filing a Chapter 7 case. One of them is taking assistance from a non-profit company dedicated to helping financially challenged individuals.
Another rule of the thumb is, simpler your bankruptcy case, the easier it is to do it on your own.
How to decide if your case is simple?
Here are a few pointers that can help you decide.
• Your income is less than the state median.
• You own very few assets.
• You do not have priority debts, for example, child and spousal support, fines and penalties, some taxes, and retirement plan loans, to name a few.
• There are no any fraud cases against you.
Regardless of your situation, you will be happy if you can file for a no-asset bankruptcy case.
What is a no-asset case anyway?
It is a case when you are able to protect all of your assets within bankruptcy exemptions so that the trustee will not be able to sell any property you own.
In a no-asset case, the court sends out a notice to creditors that they will not receive anything and there is no any necessity for them to file a proof of claim.
A proof of claim is formal paper work that creditors must complete before getting paid.
If you feel you cannot afford a lawyer, consider one of the following options:
• Try to get assistance from a legal aid society or pro bono attorney. A pro bono lawyer is one who agrees to take up a part or whole of your case at no cost to you.
• File on your own if you are confident of doing so.
• File for Chapter 13 and pay for your lawyer fees through the repayment plan.
• Halt making payments on debts that are likely get wiped off.
Some people take a knee-jerk decision to file on their own. This is a bad risk if you cannot do your own research and put in sufficient time. You may even risk losing nonexempt assets.
Yes, you can make Chapter 7 affordable but give it a lot of thought before taking a final decision.