If you have done any amount of research at all, you have likely found out that the bankruptcy laws have recently changed, and the change was significant. The bankruptcy laws still vary from state to state, but there are some federal mandates in place now that cannot be ignored, even at the state level.
The reason for stating this is that a lot of people who are considering filing bankruptcy or even starting the process of bankruptcy are doing it themselves. Believe me, filing bankruptcy is no longer a "do it yourself" type of procedure, not unless you have hours of time on your hands to research, research, and then research some more. And even then, since bankruptcy filings and proceedings are not part and parcel of your normal activities, nor have they been for many years, you are going to make mistakes if you try to go it alone without a good bankruptcy lawyer. You may be the smartest person on the planet but without the representation of a good bankruptcy lawyer, the bankruptcy proceedings will almost inevitably take longer and may well cost you more in the long run, even after considering the attorney's fees for handing your case.
A good bankruptcy lawyer has access to specialized information to aid them in handing your bankruptcy case. The lawyer would also not have any emotional attachment to the case and is able to be entirely objective about it, whereas you are likely to be too emotionally attached to your own bankruptcy to be able to see all the facts clearly. And just one mistake in the paperwork or the process of filing could result in your bankruptcy being dismissed.
That's right, a bankruptcy is not a guarantee that you really CAN file for bankruptcy. With everything else going on in your personal and business life right now, can you really afford to have your case dismissed because you messed up on the paperwork? At this point in their lives, people filing bankruptcy obviously cannot afford to spend more than they need to, but at the same time, they cannot risk having their case dismissed.
Some people think they can get around a bankruptcy lawyer's fees by using someone who is well-versed in bankruptcy law or even via the use of a paralegal. Nothing could be further from the truth. Neither of these types of people will represent you in court, and the typical paralegal fees for preparing the necessary documents will almost equal the fees assessed by a good bankruptcy lawyer. Nobody is "well versed" in bankruptcy proceeding and bankruptcy law if they do not deal with it on a regular basis.
When searching for a good bankruptcy lawyer, ask for recommendations from friends or people you know. Then take the time to interview the lawyer and get a gut feel for how they would approach your case. You need to have a good personal feeling about the lawyer's ability to represent you in your time of need. If you just don't feel good about the lawyer, then interview some other ones. You need to feel confident that they have your best interests at heart and will do everything in their power to minimize the pain of bankruptcy for you.
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