There’s no doubt about it, bankruptcy has a bad rep, and unjustly so.
There are a range of stigmas and stereotypes associated with bankruptcy that can make the decision to file a claim more difficult than it needs to be. However, it’s important to understand that these myths are just that, myths.
For example, many people believe that bankruptcy filers are financially irresponsible, but did you know that according to the American Journal of Medicine, more than half — 62% — of bankruptcies filed in the United States are due to illness or medical debt? Also, most filers only file once. Only 8% of bankruptcy filers have filed a claim in the past.
So if you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, the first thing you should do is leave all assumptions at the door. It’s important to find and retain an experienced local bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible in order to begin filing your claim.
While it’s possible to file for bankruptcy without the help of a lawyer, this is not advised. Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers typically have a 95% success rate by filing with a local bankruptcy attorney.
If you’re wondering how to find a good bankruptcy lawyer, look no farther than your state’s bar association, which can provide valuable information regarding local bankruptcy lawyers in your area. In addition, you may want to ask those closest to you and whom you trust for help in finding a lawyer for bankruptcy. Chances are, they may already know of someone.
Scheduling initial consultations is an important part of choosing a lawyer, and being properly prepared for these appointments is critical. Being prepared can expedite the entire process and allow your bankruptcy attorney to start working on your claim faster.
It’s important to bring your financial records and information pertaining to your bankruptcy to your initial consultation. Examples include bank and credit card statements, medical bills, tax returns, etc. However, it’s equally important to bring a list of questions and concerns.
Last but not least, bring an open mind! You may find that you feel much more confident in filing for bankruptcy after learning the facts from an attorney.