Deciding between Hiring a lawyer, paying a preparer or seeking debt consolidation
If you are considering the help of a debt consolidation service, your credit is already poor, so why not take advantage of the bankruptcy laws that were created to protect individuals in your exact situation and seek debt relief under the law. There are many negative myths about bankruptcy, such as the inability to receive credit cards for eight years and poor marks on your credit record. The truth of the matter is that you already have a poor credit rating if you are considering debt consolidation and pretending that it does not exist is not going to help you solve the problem. You need to be honest with yourself and make a commitment to mend your credit record and regain control of your finances.
Bankruptcy is the legal way to do this in California. In truth, many individuals are able to obtain credit cards within months of completing the bankruptcy process. Additionally, some individuals even qualify for new home mortgages during the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process. It is important for you to remember that the bankruptcy process was designed to help people, just like you, regain their financial freedom and help them to continue on the road to financial success.
The United State Congress, with the guidance of intelligent attorneys and academics who specialized in bankruptcy and finance, invested a great amount of time and effort into creating a set of laws designed with you in mind; designed to help average individuals get out of debt from overzealous creditors and help them achieve financial success.
Why hire a lawyer
Bankruptcy in California is a complicated area of the law and also involves many mandatory timelines and rules to be followed. This is why a local California bankruptcy attorney is essential to a successful case. A California Bankruptcy attorney is familiar with all of the bankruptcy laws and you may be able to save more of your property.
A California lawyer may serve as a buffer between you and your creditors.
The old saying holds true: “A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client”.
If the bankruptcy rules are not followed, the Bankruptcy Court located in San Diego has the power to dismiss your case “with prejudice,” which means you will be barred from filing for bankruptcy protection for 6 months and will have to repay the filing fees also. Also, if you are able to refile the bankruptcy again, you loose many of the benefits under the new bankruptcy law. Thus, get it right the first time and hire a competent California bankruptcy attorney.
The Bankruptcy Code changed in 2005 and the new Code is constantly being interpreted by the bankruptcy judges at the Bankruptcy Court.
This will hopefully be a once in a lifetime event for you. Make sure it is done right by hiring an experienced California bankruptcy lawyer.
Why not file for yourself
Bankruptcy in California is a complicated area of the law and also involves many details which can be best handled by an local bankruptcy attorney that specializes in bankruptcy in the state that you live.
You are not familiar with all of the federal and California bankruptcy laws that are applicable to bankruptcy and will likely miss loopholes, which could result in a possible loss of your property or denial of your case.
The Bankruptcy court has the power to dismiss your case “with prejudice” if the Bankruptcy rules are not followed. This means that you will be prohibited from filing for bankruptcy protection for 6 months and will also have to repay the filing fees. You will also loose some types of bankruptcy protection on the next filing.
In California, many Chapter 7 Bankruptcies without an attorney are dismissed for missing timelines and not following the rules and almost all Chapter 13 Bankruptcies field without an attorney are not confirmed by the Bankruptcy Judges. Even the Bankruptcy Trustee will recommend hiring and attorney to prevent problems after your case if filed.
Why not use a filing service
There are many bankruptcy preparers who offer to prepare your bankruptcy paperwork for a lower rate; however, these people are not lawyers and will not represent you at the hearings.
Preparers only file papers, which is only a portion of what attorneys do. A majority of the bankruptcy work consists in the time after your bankruptcy is filed.
Preparers are not licensed professionals and do not have a mastery of the bankruptcy laws of your jurisdiction. Recently in California, there has also been a rise in the number of so called bankruptcy preparers” running off with customer money and not doing the work.
Preparers do not represent you in your bankruptcy case and you are left to make all of the important decisions in your case on your own. We have seen people loose their homes because they were not correctly listed in the bankruptcy paperwork.
The legality of bankruptcy preparers has been questioned by the courts in recent years due to the fact that, at times, they engage in the illegal practice of law and are sued by their customers or the bankruptcy trustee after they incorrectly list assets in the paperwork.
Preparers are specifically prohibited from providing the very type of information that you need: legal advice! We are here to be your Bankruptcy Attorneys.
Why not use a debt consolidation service
Debt consolidation advertising has seen a significant increase in the past few years. However, there are many things they may not tell you or that you are aware of. On a few occasions debt consolidation may be the right option but in most circumstance most debt consolidation companies charge you a small fortune to do things that you could do yourself not pay your bills. With claims that they will then be able to negotiate with your creditors and pay off your debt at a fraction of the total amount. In reality, in California it rarely happened for the following reasons:
Debt Consolidation companies are extremely expensive and it is not uncommon to pay them $4,000 to $7,000. Their fees get paid first before any creditors are paid. Bankruptcy is a far cheaper option.
You are not under any type of protection while you are in a consolidation program. This means garnishments, repossessions, judgments, and liens are fair game by creditors. All of our clients that were previously in a consolidation program because they bought into all the negative stereotypes associated with bankruptcy felt used and always tell us that it was a waste of time and money and they should have just filed bankruptcy to begin with. Moreover, while you are in the debt consolidation program you can still be sued by the creditor.
They are not attorneys and they may be able to get you any better results than you could get yourself by calling your creditors directly.
Sometimes they charge huge hidden fees even though they claim to be not for profit.
You may end up paying more over the long haul with a long term loan even though the interest rates are lower and monthly payments are lower than those of your original credit cards.
Not all debt consolidation companies are reputable and some are simply scams.
Many times the loans are not flexible for under and over payments and many times creditors will not negotiate because they can simply get a garnishment in California court and take 100% of what you owe them from your wages, bank accounts, and through judgment liens.
Even with the change in the law that is supposed to “regulate” these type of companies and protect the consumer, one still must be careful in using these companies. Many of them have been known to collect their fees then simply “close their doors” and vanish with your money.
If you decide to go through one of the companies that are advertising so heavily these days, please research them thoroughly and ask many questions. Also, make sure that you read the entire contract they would want you to sign. Come back to visit us if you find you are dissatisfied with their service.
We are a debt relief agency.