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If you’ve been thinking about filing for bankruptcy in Montgomery County, you aren’t alone.  In fact, you might be surprised to learn just how common bankruptcy cases are in Montgomery County, where most years, more bankruptcies are filed than any other county in Pennsylvania, except for Philadelphia.  But with so many bankruptcy legal services to choose from, how does a filer find a good match?  Our Philadelphia bankruptcy attorneys offer some tips on what to look for in a bankruptcy lawyer if you’re considering filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Montgomery County.

Why Do You Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer to Handle Your Case?

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, you’re probably concerned about how much hiring a bankruptcy attorney is going to cost.  You might have even thought about filing yourself in order to save money.  There are no laws stopping you from filing on your own, which is called filing “pro se” – but for your own legal and financial protection, you are strongly urged to seek legal help.  In the end, hiring a Ph attorney will save you money by protecting you from expensive mistakes while increasing the efficiency with which your case can be resolved.

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Debtors should keep in mind that bankruptcy today is a substantially more complicated process than it used to be prior to 2005 due to a piece of legislation known as the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, or BAPCPA, which introduced major changes to bankruptcy laws in the United States, such as narrowing eligibility for Chapter 7, introducing mandatory credit counseling and debtor education requirements, and introducing new requirements for showing previous tax returns and proof of income.

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In light of the numerous requirements and restrictions established by BAPCPA, it is easier today than ever before for a debtor to make a costly and critical error – particularly if he or she is filing under Chapter 13, which is a longer and more intricate process than Chapter 7.  Here are a few points you should think about very carefully before you try to file for bankruptcy on your own:

  • Hiring a bankruptcy lawyer is more affordable than you think. Our Pennsylvania Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers know that cost is a major concern, which is why we work with our clients to make payments manageable.  In some cases, our retainer is as low as $200.
  • You will be expected to understand bankruptcy laws. This includes local court rules, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Code – much of which is very difficult to interpret correctly if you aren’t an attorney who handles Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.
  • Court personnel cannot help you. Judges and other bankruptcy court officials are prohibited from giving you any legal advice, even if you ask.  You will be largely in the dark without professional guidance if you attempt to handle your own case.
  • Bankruptcy has long-lasting financial effects. An error could cause costly, inconvenient delays, or, in a worst-case scenario, even a complete dismissal of your case.  If your case is prolonged or dismissed, there could be disastrous financial consequences.

Questions to Ask a Bankruptcy Attorney

As reported in The Legal Intelligencer earlier this month, a solo bankruptcy attorney who formerly practiced in Montgomery County was recently disbarred “for misusing client money in multiple cases and taking excessive fees for himself.”  While cases like this are rare and extreme, you can help protect yourself by making sure you feel confident and comfortable with a potential attorney – and one of the best ways to determine whether a potential bankruptcy lawyer will make a good fit is to ask the right questions.  When you contact a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney in Montgomery County about potentially handling your case, some good questions to ask include:

  • How many years of experience do you have?
  • Have you handled any cases similar to mine?
  • Is declaring bankruptcy the best way to manage my debt and achieve my financial goals? Or would an alternative solution be more appropriate for my situation?
  • Which type of bankruptcy should I file?
  • When is the best time for me to file bankruptcy?
  • Can you take care of my bankruptcy paperwork?
  • Will you come with me to court?
  • What sorts of risks and obstacles might arise in my case?
  • How can I use exemptions to protect my assets and property?
  • How much is my case going to cost?

Sadek & Cooper Law Offices offers free, no-obligation initial bankruptcy consultations.  The purpose of the consultation is to get a sense of your situation, identify your objectives, and discuss what sort of bankruptcy services you are seeking, at which point we can make a determination about the most beneficial and efficient course of action for you.

Find a Bankruptcy Lawyer Near Me in Montgomery County, PA

If you’re reading these words because you are looking for an experienced, knowledgeable, and effective bankruptcy attorney in Montgomery County, we urge you to contact Sadek & Cooper Law Offices for a free legal consultation to confidentially discuss how we can help you.  Based in Philadelphia, Sadek & Cooper Law Offices is a Pennsylvania bankruptcy law firm handling Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, and financial alternatives to bankruptcy in Bucks County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County, including Ambler, Ardmore, Audubon, Blue Bell, Conshohocken, Glenside, Harleysville, Hatboro, Horsham, King of Prussia, Kulpsville, Lansdale, Maple Glen, Montgomeryville, Norristown, Oreland, Penn Wynne, Plymouth Meeting, Pottstown, Sanatoga, Souderton, Trooper, Willow Grove, and more.

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If you’re a resident of Montgomery County and are considering declaring bankruptcy, the attorneys of Sadek & Cooper can evaluate your situation and determine what sort of legal strategy is best suited to your goals and needs.  To learn more about filing for bankruptcy in Montgomery County in a free consultation, call Sadek & Cooper Law Offices at (215) 995-2543 today.