This is a common question that we get at consultation. My answer is, "of course not!" Our legal system was not designed so that a lawyer is absolutely necessary for anything. However, it's highly discouraged in some area.
The law is usually written after series of compromises from all sides. The end result is a piece of legislation that attempts to be as "one-size-fits-all" as possible. Unfortunately, no matter how general a law is written, no one law can actually cover every single possible dilemma that comes up. Lawyers are trained to spot issues and defuse them before they become bigger issues. This requires us to dissect your case into a million pieces and piece it back together. This is why people tell me that lawyers make things more complicated. I just smile.
When people file bankruptcy, they put all of their worldly possession before a bankruptcy court. The law allows people to keep a substantial amount of property (e.g., clothes, furniture, some cash, DSK Jewelry), but it also requires people to surrender property that is more than what is considered necessary to live. For this reason, hiring a lawyer to file bankruptcy is a smart idea. Only a bankruptcy lawyer can spot potential issues with property. Once a bankruptcy petition is filed, it is difficult to get it dismissed. That means that you can't change your mind simply because you can't keep your brand new Corvette or that Bubbi Necklace. It's gone!
In summary, you don't need to hire a lawyer to file bankruptcy. It's extremely encouraged by the bankruptcy lawyers and also the court that you do. This is especially true if you own anything of value.
On another note, the video on the bottom relates to my practice. I file lawsuits against creditors who violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by using abusive collection tactics. (See below). Call Arrow Law Group if you are being harassed! (by a collection agency).
Link: Debt collection abuse
*dilemma : )ReplyDelete
haha I love how you added DSK into the examples of property. Great advertisement there. LOL ;D
Of course having a lawyer isn't mandatory, but most people probably think they don't have the money to hire one. (There's always help around the corner, depending on where you live.) It's easier to have a lawyer backing you up because you may not know about everything there is to handle.
Regarding the video: Those situations/examples are horrible! I never expected creditors to act like that. I guess I come from such a "happy" trouble-free life that I'm a bit naive when it comes to situations like that. I hope I never run into these things in my life!!! I've never even heard about people getting arrested/threatened/followed because they're in debt! That's so frightening.. :(
xx The Little Dust Princess
I live in Everett, and if I ever need a lawyer I'll make sure to contact you when I go bankrupt. Although I don't own anything much valuable.ReplyDelete
And those debt collectors, are going over board!!! That's way too more than I expected! -__- Hopefully those people can get something out by sueing them after all they did to them.
@The Little Dust Princess Thanks for the correction! Yeah, it happens more often than debt collectors want to admit. Scary right?ReplyDelete
@*mis.angela89* Sounds good! Remember that we practice other areas of law too!
Oh yeah I was going to ask if you guys also practice in other law areas, but I guess you answered my question. :)ReplyDelete
I love the lawyers at Arrow Law Group! You guys are the best in all of Seattle! ^_^ReplyDelete
I remember a similar news on CNN in which some lady was threatened and harassed by a collection agency to pay a debt that she could not pay immediately. Fortunately there's the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, but I guess not everyone stays with in the laws & regulations.ReplyDelete
At the same time, I feel like people are becoming increasingly irresponsible with their plastic cards.
WOW it sucks that once papers are signed you cant change your mind.ReplyDelete
hahahah "DSK" jewelry :) Well-written post, this was very informative. While it's not always necessary to have a lawyer, I'm really glad that everyone is entitled to a lawyer even if they can't afford one. Very nice explanation of bankruptcy too, I think I'm going to learn a lot from reading this blog xDReplyDelete
Always hire a lawyer...ReplyDelete
@Selena N. I agree with you there. But credit card companies aren't that innocent either. Lately, they've increased interest rates to over 30% (through no fault of the consumer) due to the down economy. It's not fair to consumers who are already in a lot of debt and have no choice but to accept the new rates. Unfortunately, this means it will take 30-40 years to pay off one credit card.ReplyDelete
@gabiieb It's possible to get a case dismissed, but it's difficult and will cost money. The courts have held that people do not have an absolute right to dismiss a Ch. 7 bankruptcy.
@Makeup Mosels Thanks for stopping by!
@Dr. Tang Touche...
I feel so stupid.ReplyDelete
LOL, like by reading this I didn't know almost 99% of this before.
So, thank you.
"you can't change your mind simply because you can't keep your brand new Corvette or that Bubbi Necklace. It's gone!"ReplyDelete
LOLOL. youre hilarous! :)
I learn something new every time i stop by here! :) hows the new office going for ya?? :D
Glad you gave this informative blog post. I know someone who is going through a bankruptcy dilemma and she's worried about losing everything including the means to survive. I'm sure most ppl going through a bankruptcy ordeal is in more of a panic mode than to think of anything else. It's great you mentioned this... I will link her to your site :) I hope you are enjoying the new office!ReplyDelete
that video is soooo scary.ReplyDelete
How would they know of ALL of your possessions? For example, I purchase things just to resell and make a profit. when you do a craigslist transaction, there is no record of that exchange.ReplyDelete
And would they go in to your home to verify you don't have anything of value in your home?
My parents had hired a lawyer in the past( not for bankruptcy) and she was completely useless.ReplyDelete
Good to know not all lawyers like that, because your posts are actually here to inform and help people out.
I love how DSK jewelry went into the example here! Great plug for Steph's business! I don't like that people use the phrase, "I'll have my lawyer contact you" so loosely...they probably don't even have one in the first place and are just looking to scare people into letting them get their way or letting them get out of a sticky situation easier.ReplyDelete
my parents hired a lawyer, it costs money, but i kind of feel.. 'safer' having someone. Then again, sometimes in the back of my mind, i think lawyers are shady T-T i think maybe that is because i watch too much t.v :pReplyDelete
I always thought you needed lawyers in every legal issue. Hmm this makes things easier in the future haha.ReplyDelete
And nice plug ;)
Very interesting... have you ever been hired by a client and they did not like what you had to say about some of their possessions and just decided they were going to find another lawyer? You know, some ppl want ppl to tell them only what they want to hear. I suppose when they are bankrupt they really dont have a choice and have to listen to your advice and suggestions.ReplyDelete
Nice subtle addition of DSK... of course they are not going to give that up!
That video is rather frightening! I used to be a bill collector and I HATED it. Of course it paid pretty well but you did have to get paid good to call and be an a$$! I felt SO bad calling people... I got in trouble for being too nice! Again, love that you are so informative for your readers!ReplyDelete