Bankruptcy offers a path forward for those who find themselves in difficult financial situations. While Chapter 7 is the most common option, Chapter 13 is a better fit for many people. However, finding the right Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney for your situation is vital.
What Is Chapter 13?
Before we discuss finding the ideal Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney, let’s briefly explore the differences between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. The most important difference is that Chapter 7 is focused on discharging unsecured debts without repaying your creditors. Chapter 13, on the other hand, creates a structured repayment plan that allows you to catch up on secured debts, while discharging unsecured debts.
Is Chapter 13 Right for You?
What makes Chapter 13 right for one consumer but not another? Generally speaking, Chapter 13 is the better choice for those with assets they want to protect, such as boats or homes. It’s also better suited for those with higher incomes, as you’ll need to have an income to continue paying toward your secured debts (or if your income is high enough that you don’t qualify for Chapter 7).
Qualities to Look for in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney
The right Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney will have specific qualities. These include:
- Experience – Make sure the attorney you choose has deep experience representing clients in Chapter 13 cases.
- Communication Style – You’ll need to communicate with your attorney throughout the bankruptcy process, so make sure they have a communication style you’re comfortable with.
- Process – It’s important to work closely with your attorney. Listen closely to their process and make sure it matches your unique needs and goals.
- Membership in Industry Organizations – Is the attorney a member of the American Bar Association? Legal aid organizations? The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys?
- Past Client Recommendations – Any attorney worth working with will have plenty of recommendations from previous clients attesting to their experience and results.
Why Matching Your Attorney’s Experience to Your Situation Is Important
It’s important that you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney. Their experience and expertise should be a good match for your situation and financial goals. Why does this matter?
Simply put, your attorney will be responsible for helping you create a repayment plan and deciding which debts to discharge during the bankruptcy process. They should have experience with other clients in similar situations – whether you’re trying to protect assets, maintain a nest egg for the future, pay for your child’s education, or something else – and be able to create a strategy that meets your needs.
Helping You Achieve a Brighter Future
The right Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney is more than a legal specialist. They’re your partner in creating a brighter, more stable financial future. At DeLuca & Associates, we can help you decide if Chapter 13 is the right path forward for your needs and create a strategy that ensures your financial stability.