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When to Call in the Bankruptcy Attorney
What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legally declared insolvency of organizations or individuals. in everyday lingo this means that you can't pay your debts. You then have to go into court and have a bankruptcy case. The most common bankruptcy for individuals is chapter 7 and 13. Chapter 7 seems worst for most, since you have to surrender your assets, but in turn your debt will be gone. In chapter 13 you can keep your assets, but you have to give up a portion of your future income to the creditors. This means that besides the legal procedure you have to draw up a financially viable plan that the court will accept.
It is important that bankruptcy law is different in every country. Chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy applies to the US, but depending on your country your national law may draw up a different structure, prescribe different measures. Please consult this article as a general outline of what happens, not as a definitive guide. It will give you a good start, but consult with a lawyer or look into your national law.
Bankruptcy attorneys are actually very normal lawyers that specialize in bankruptcy. They don't earn this title by going to a special school, instead they work hard at doing these cases and usually become bankruptcy lawyers through specialization and experience. This is a good thing since they tend to know procedures and legal knots inside and out and just by talking to you about your situation they can assess the case and opt for the best deal you can get.
As with all legal procedures it is very hard for one to represent himself. Technically this is by all means possible, but unless you are a very good talker and know quite a lot about the law in question you shouldn't take the case on yourself. Bankruptcy attorneys not only help by being there but also have connections and know about precedents and legal history that may help you.
These are cases that require extensive negotiations and much work on your part as well as you need to draw up repayment plans and so on. Weather you get a lawyer or not, you will have a lot of work to do, and a lot of thinking to think, so having the legal side of your back is a great sigh of relief, trust me. It's not only a question of getting a deal, it's a question of how good a deal you can get and lawyers are very good in that respect.
Getting an Attorney
I'm sure you will find plenty of attorneys to help you, after all, it's just a question of money. However, going to a reliable source may make or break your deal. NACBA, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys is an organization that has been set up to help everyday people in a bankruptcy situation. It is an association that lawyers join and give their time and money to help. The benefit for you is, that you can find good lawyers to suit your case. You can try their Attorney Finder to look for one in your state, or if you're lucky the member of the month is near you.