Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often misunderstood, because people think they will lose their entire paycheck or that they have to payback all of their creditors. In fact, chapter 13 is a flexible affordable debt repayment plan that has the added benefit of being overseen by the federal bankruptcy court. One of the main reasons for filing a chapter 13 is to either save your house from foreclosure or to protect valuable property. You can also use chapter 13 if you do not qualify for chapter 7.
Not to be negative, but ask about malpractice insurance. People are often surprised to learn that attorneys in most states are not required to carry it. They are also not required to tell you most of the time. Ask for a clarification up front and an explanation if they are not carrying it.
CLEAN UP YOUR DESK AND FILE CABINET. Go through the files in your file cabinet and decide if it’s still necessary to keep the manual for XYZ program you installed five years ago on your computer. My guess is you don’t even have that computer anymore, and definitely don’t use that program anymore! Organize your files and get your filing done — clean off that desk.
Bankruptcy is said to stop the harassing creditor calls. But most people do not how the creditors know you have filed bankruptcy. In your petition is a form called the “Creditor Matrix”, which is simply a list of your creditors and their addresses. Once your petition is filed, the U.S. bankruptcy Court will issue a “Notice of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case” if you are in a Chapter 7 or a “Notice of Chapter 13 bankruptcy Case” if you are in a Chapter 13. This notice will be mailed to each creditor at their address listed on your Creditor Matrix. Needless to say, it is very important that your attorney has the correct address of each of your creditors and their collection agency.
Talk to a salt lake divorce attorney about their history. Just because they can practice don’t mean that they’re successful. This will help you feel confident about your representation.
If you look at nothing else, get a copy of the certificate of insurance, which is a summary of the association’s policy. First see if the real estate lawyer replacement costs covered by the policy are an accurate estimate of the cost of rebuilding. On older buildings, there may have been many code upgrades since the time of construction. Finally, make sure that you understand exactly what the association policy covers and what you are responsible for. The smart condo owner will insure his or her personal belongings, along with any other items within the unit that are not covered by the association’s policy. If you have trouble understanding the insurance lingo, take the insurance certificate to an agent whom you trust and who understands the state laws.
Keep in mind that because these notices are mailed vis USPS, that it might take a couple of weeks for your creditors to receive this notice, so you may get some phone calls after filing. If you get a creditor call after filing, you simply give them your bankruptcy case number, attorney’s name, and your attorney’s phone number. Tell them nothing else. You have given them notice of your bankruptcy and your case number. Also, keep a log of all the calls you get after you filed your case, and if a creditor calls you again after you gave them your case number, let your attorney know immediately.
As odd as it may sound, you need to also ask who is going to be working on your case. Many lawyers hire a small army of paralegals. Paralegals can do a lot of work, but they are not attorneys. Many people have been frustrated by law firms when they realize there case is essentially being handled by a paralegal instead of a lawyer.