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Why an Attorney Is Important When Filing for Bankruptcy

Vivona Pandurangi, PLC July 7, 2022

Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition and book.If you experience financial hardship and are unable to repay your debts, you may be considering filing for bankruptcy. While bankruptcy can help you overcome mounting debt and achieve financial freedom, filing for bankruptcy is a complex and daunting process.

Fortunately, you can hire an attorney to help you through the filing process. Rely on the experience and knowledge of our bankruptcy attorneys at Vivona Pandurangi, PLC. With offices in Falls Church and Alexandria, we represent individuals and families throughout the state of Virginia, including but not limited to Fairfax, Arlington, and Manassas.

Why You Should Hire a Bankruptcy Attorney

If you are burdened by debt, it is essential to understand the importance of hiring a bankruptcy attorney. Some of the common reasons you can benefit from working with an attorney before, during, and after filing for bankruptcy include:

  • You will know what kinds of debt are dischargeable.

  • You can apply for exemptions if available.

  • You can get an accurate real estate evaluation.

  • You will know which chapter is best in your specific situation.

  • You can get guidance throughout the entire bankruptcy process.

  • You can get help with completing paperwork.

  • You will provide accurate and complete information in your bankruptcy filing.

  • You will have better odds of success.

  • You will get help in communicating and dealing with creditors.

  • You can save money in the long run.

  • You will know how to rebuild your credit score.

The benefits of hiring a bankruptcy attorney do not stop there. There are numerous other reasons why it is important to work with a skilled attorney when filing for bankruptcy.

Common Bankruptcy Pitfalls Without an Attorney

Not seeking legal counsel when filing for bankruptcy carries significant risks. In particular, people who choose to file for bankruptcy without an attorney are likely to make the following mistakes:

  • Filing under the wrong bankruptcy chapter. Failure to choose the right chapter for your bankruptcy can have a lasting impact on your credit score and financial future as a whole.

  • Filing at the wrong time. Timing is everything when filing for bankruptcy. Unfortunately, many people do not get that. A skilled attorney can explain when is the right time to file for bankruptcy and discharge your debts.

  • Omitting debts or assets when filing. Sometimes, people omit certain assets or debts in their bankruptcy filing. Some do it intentionally, while others leave out certain debts or assets of their bankruptcy inadvertently. Either way, you risk getting your bankruptcy case denied.

  • Undervaluing assets. When filing for bankruptcy without an attorney, a debtor may undervalue or misclassify their assets, which may result in allegations of fraud.

  • Failing to comply with all the requirements. There are strict requirements to follow when filing for bankruptcy, including mandatory pre-bankruptcy credit counseling. A person who does not work with an attorney may not be aware of all the requirements involved in filing for bankruptcy.

There are many other pitfalls that may jeopardize your bankruptcy filing efforts and result in the denial of your petition.

What to Look for in a Bankruptcy Attorney 

If you have decided to seek legal counsel from an attorney, you need to make sure that you hire the right bankruptcy attorney. There are probably dozens or even hundreds of bankruptcy attorneys to choose from in your local area, but how do you know that you have chosen the right one? There are three things that separate good bankruptcy attorneys from bad ones:

  1. Experience. The level of experience of your attorney can have a major impact on the outcome of your bankruptcy case. 

  2. Attention to detail. Filing for bankruptcy involves a great deal of paperwork, deadlines, and requirements that must be met, which is why you need an attorney who has an eye for detail.

  3. Free consultations. Any good lawyer knows that the last thing debt-burdened people need is to worry about paying an attorney for the initial consultation. At Vivona Pandurangi, PLC, we understand that people who struggle with debt may not be able to pay for the consultation. That is why we provide free consultations to give each client a chance to get valuable legal guidance at no cost.

Let Vivona Pandurangi, PLC Help You

At Vivona Pandurangi, PLC, our bankruptcy attorneys are here to help you find the right solution for your specific situation so you can put your debt behind you and get a “fresh start.” We have offices in Alexandria and Falls Church and also serve clients throughout Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William, and Loudon counties. If you are thinking of filing for bankruptcy, get a free consultation with our attorneys to discuss your financial situation.