Bankruptcy Lawyer Memphis, TN

Determining whether bankruptcy is the right decision for you depends on a number of factors. Over the past few years, there has been an increase in pro se bankruptcy filings. Most consumers file for bankruptcy hoping that it will afford them a fresh start, but federal reforms to bankruptcy laws in 2005 have made consumer bankruptcy cases more complex. It is important to understand common mistakes that can be made along the way for individuals who have considered filing for bankruptcy without an attorney.

Bankruptcy May Not Be the Best Option

It may be that bankruptcy is the wrong option for you in the first place. Individuals should start by exploring all of their debt relief options and understanding what can and cannot be accomplished in bankruptcy. You must take the time to evaluate your specific financial situation and research the types of debt that would or would not be dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Choosing the Wrong Bankruptcy Chapter

Most individuals file for either chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy. An individual must qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy and the process generally involves selling assets to discharge debts. Chapter 13 allows individuals to develop a plan demonstrating how they will repay their debts over a period of time in exchange for keeping certain valuable property. It is important to understand the pros and cons of both categories and to take your specific financial situation into account. This is where having the legal guidance of a bankruptcy attorney can be crucial.

Not Using Proper Exemptions

Exemptions vary from state to state. Some states do not use the federal exemptions, so a debtor filing in one of those states must use state exemptions. There are two sets of exemptions to choose from and you can only select one.  The exemptions have different implications depending on whether you are filing for chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. These exemptions can help consumers protect their assets but choosing the wrong ones could be a very costly mistake.

You Should Speak with a Bankruptcy Attorney

When it comes to filing for bankruptcy, it can be easy to think that you have a straightforward case. However, properly filing and preparing for bankruptcy can be the difference between keeping and losing valuable assets. Even if you would ultimately like to represent yourself, talking to a bankruptcy lawyer Memphis, TN trusts at Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC prior to filing for bankruptcy can help you avoid these common and potentially costly mistakes.