If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in Texas, you’re probably also weighing every other major decision in your life in order to maintain financial balance. One decision that can feel especially complex is determining whether or not you need to contact a lawyer for assistance with your bankruptcy.
Filing for bankruptcy is a major decision, so it makes sense that choosing an attorney to assist with the process is vital to your long-term financial success. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in Texas, reach out to the Brownsville bankruptcy lawyers of the Law Offices of Phillippe and Associates for a no-obligation consultation to determine whether or not you need legal representation.
The Benefits of an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney
When researching whether or not you need a lawyer to file for bankruptcy in Texas, you are likely to find two opposing opinions: either that you would be better off without a lawyer or that hiring a lawyer is non-negotiable. In reality, the truth is somewhere in between. While some people might be able to complete the bankruptcy process effectively un-represented, the vast majority of us would benefit from the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
First of all, you will need to pay a filing fee of between $310 to $335 whether you are represented or not. It should be noted that most people who file for bankruptcy unrepresented do eventually need the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney. Starting the process with the guidance of a lawyer may help streamline the process and help you to avoid unnecessary delays or expenses.
This begs the question: why do most people end up seeking a lawyer eventually? The fact is, the bankruptcy process is complex, especially in regards to the paperwork involved. The number of financial records that may be involved in your filing can balloon quickly, especially for those with a wide variety of debts or assets. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you gather all of the necessary documents, files, and paperwork to ensure that your filing is airtight.
The Risks of Filing for Bankruptcy in Texas Without a Lawyer
If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy without a lawyer, you may be able to purchase a packet of information on filing unrepresented. However, even with a guide, it’s easy to make mistakes in one of the many details involved.
Below, you can learn about the risks of filing Chapter 7, 11, and 13 without the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
It’s worth noting that businesses cannot represent themselves in court. As such, if you’re considering filing bankruptcy on behalf of your business, you will need a bankruptcy lawyer.
In general, the simpler the filing, the more likely you will be able to file without representation. Chapter 7 is often considered the simplest form of bankruptcy, but even this filing can be risky if simple mistakes, like miscategorizing assets, are made. Correctly categorizing assets can be particularly tricky for the inexperienced because there are both federal and state laws involved. Making a mistake at this step can result in your possessions being liquidated without cause.
Given that Chapter 11 is rarely filed by individuals, most Chapter 11 filers will require legal representation. For those who do file Chapter 11 as an individual, they often choose that option due to real estate investments or high assets. With that in mind, it’s likely that their bankruptcy filing will be complicated and require a relatively large number of records and documentation. The more complicated the filing, the more risk there is involved in filing without the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
Chapter 13 filers are arguably the most likely to need a bankruptcy attorney for their filing. Chapter 13 involves the creation of a repayment plan meant to pay off as much of your debt as possible without exceeding your ability to make those payments. Determining that payment rate, what debts will be discharged, what debts you are required to pay, and other details of the plan are complicated and depend upon state and federal requirements. If you are considering filing for Chapter 13, failing to seek the input of an experienced attorney could lead to some serious consequences, including fees, delays, or other serious consequences.
File For Bankruptcy with the Help of a Dedicated Brownsville Bankruptcy Attorney
As you can see, filing for bankruptcy can be a complex and time-consuming process. While this may be true even with the help of a lawyer, an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you avoid the many pitfalls that are common to the process.
At the Law Offices of Phillippe and Associates, we know that filing for bankruptcy is a difficult decision that often comes at the end of a long-term struggle for stability. We respect the bravery it takes to make the decision to change your financial situation. We would be proud to assist you either through a free, no-obligation consultation or our dedicated legal representation.