Declaring Bankruptcy: Should You Hire an Attorney?

Since the economic downturn, many Chicago residents have turned to bankruptcy for relief. Overwhelmingly, those who turn to bankruptcy do so because of a major life event such as job loss or an illness. By the time most people make the decision to meet with a bankruptcy lawyer in Chicago, they are severely in debt and possess several accounts that are past-due or in collections.

According to one financial planner at the Center for Working Families in Chicago, individuals wish to avoid the stigma of bankruptcy and therefore do everything that they can to try to avoid it on their own instead of seeking help when they first start to experience financial issues. By the time they finally seek help, they do so as a last resort long after their finances have spiraled out of control.

Another reason people postpone seeking help is that it costs money to hire a lawyer and file for bankruptcy. The irony is that trying to handle their finances on their own soon proves to be a costly mistake as they rack up even more debt. Most financial experts agree that the sooner you hire a lawyer to address your financial problems the better off you are.

Companies and business partnerships are required to hire an attorney to file a bankruptcy case. Individuals, on the other hand, may represent themselves in bankruptcy court. The Administrative Office of the U.S. courts strongly advises against this, however. “While individuals can file a bankruptcy case without an attorney or ‘pro se,’ it is extremely difficult to do it successfully.”

Most individuals filing for bankruptcy choose either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 status. Each chapter has its own benefits, drawbacks, and legal stipulations. A lawyer has seen hundreds of these types of filings come across his desk and has met with people from all different walks of life and guided them through the bankruptcy process. Your lawyer will help you make the best financial decision possible based on your unique circumstances. Unless you are a bankruptcy lawyer, it is simply impossible to replicate this type of expertise and service for yourself.

As with any legal process, the rules for filing are very technical. If mistakes are made, the courts will not accept “I didn’t know what I was supposed to do” as an excuse. Worse yet, a wrong move could be considered bankruptcy fraud, landing you in even more trouble. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you do not proceed into Chapter 13bankruptcy in Chicago without a competent bankruptcy attorney who will look out for your best interests and guide you through the process.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Chicago – Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Chicago is not an endeavor you should try on your own. Chicago Debt Solutions bankruptcy attorneys will provide the expertise necessary to ensure that you are aware of all your options and that no mistakes are made that could cause your financial problems to spiral further out of control. Contact us at or call 312.445.9106 for expert representation by bankruptcy attorneys.

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