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Austin Bankruptcy - Do I Need A Lawyer?

There’s no law or formal requirement that says you have to need a lawyer to file bankruptcy (unless it’s a Chapter 11 “business reorganization” Bankruptcy). There are numerous books, websites, and even Bankruptcy Court resources available that explain The Bankruptcy Process. But if you don’t have any legal experience or any experience dealing with the Bankruptcy Court yourself the process can be quite frustrating and even to your disadvantage should you encounter a problem.

Since the one thing that is in common with almost all bankruptcy debtors is a lack of available money, many people consider filing their bankruptcy case without a lawyer. This is known as “Pro Se” and is available to all consumer Bankruptcy debtors.

There are definite risks involved in “representing yourself” and filing “Pro Se”. The people who work at the Bankruptcy Court are most helpful, but they are not allowed to give legal advice. What you believe may be a simple question to a Bankruptcy Court Clerk could actually be legal advice if they answer. All too often people will go to the Bankruptcy Court and ask to obtain the “Bankruptcy Forms” from the clerk and run into a problem. They will usually have a question that needs an answer and will ask the clerk who responds “we are not allowed to give legal advice”. Bankruptcy is more than just filling out some forms. If you don’t do your paperwork correctly, your case could be dismissed. In everything you do within your Bankruptcy case, the exact same rules apply to you as if you were a lawyer. Just because you represent yourself the system won’t cut you any slack.

That being said the new bankruptcy law is more rigid in its requirements and the process is not as simple as filling in the blanks. In the past, if a debtor failed to follow through on a documentation requirement or filed incorrect paperwork, there was usually an opportunity to correct the problem. This is not the case anymore. Under the current bankruptcy law, there are various timelines or deadlines for certain actions, and the failure to perform these tasks timely could result in a dismissal of your case.

Keep in mind that everyone involved in the bankruptcy process is a lawyer or has an attorney representing them. The Judge is a lawyer and the Court has the US Trustee who is a lawyer, the Chapter 7 or 13 Trustee is a lawyer or has a lawyer or both, and most all creditors have lawyers representing their interests. If you are the only one without legal assistance, you are likely at a grave disadvantage. You can be compelled by the other side into making bad decisions, loose property, or even become subject to further legal proceedings if you do not know your legal rights. Remember, its always more expensive to hire a lawyer to fix problems than it is to assist you from start to finish.

If you’re facing financial problems such as foreclosure or repossession, a lawyer will typically cost you a nominal sum compared to the long term benefits and potential Debt Relief you may be afforded by filing for Bankruptcy. If you think you may need a lawyer to file for Bankruptcy, it is vital that you act quickly. Certain situations are very time sensitive, such as foreclosures, pending lawsuits, immanent repossessions, enforcement of judgments, and other legal actions related to your debt. There is always a specific amount of time you have to respond to lawsuits and other legal actions, so even if you're not sure what your course of action should be, consulting a lawyer at a free initial consultation is generally good advice. Representing yourself in these types of proceedings may cause more harm than good if you are uninformed or don’t understand the law. A good Lawyer can help steer you in the right direction and let you know if Bankruptcy is or isn’t an option for you.

The world of Debt can be very stressful and understanding your legal rights and options available is the first step in resolving your financial problems. Whether you’re seeking to file for Bankruptcy or are looking for Bankruptcy Alternatives, knowing when to consult a Bankruptcy Lawyer can be a matter of financial Life or Debt.

If you are certain that you want to represent yourself in filing for Bankruptcy the visit for information on the process. Also visit your local library or law library to obtain more information on the latest case law and changes to the local rules.

If you need to consult a lawyer about Debt Relief of have questions about filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy please contact The Law Offices of R.J.Atkinson,LLC at 512-617-2899 for a free initial consultation to discuss your legal options. With locations in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas we are a Texas Debt Relief Agency and help people file for Bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code. Don’t Lose Everything.


Please read: Certification | Disclaimer | TexasLegalWeb | State Bar of Texas | Resource LinksLast Updated February 27, 2024
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Filing Bankruptcy can sometimes be the fastest way to get out of debt and may be the most affordable way to get a fresh financial start. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can quickly wipe out your debts, increase your credit score, stop wage garnishments, get rid of credit card debt, eliminate medical bills, stop payday loans, stop bill collectors, erase negative credit reporting, and reestablish new credit after bankruptcy. RJ Atkinson — Austin Bankruptcy Lawyer have payment plans to make filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy affordable which include low cost flat fees for Chapter 7 that may be considered the cheapest bankruptcy attorney fees compared to fees other bankruptcy lawyer charge. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can save your home from foreclosure, save your car from repossession, lower monthly payments, reduce interest rates, get rid of late fees, reduce credit card interest, payoff high credit card debt, raise your credit score, stop creditor harassment, get rid of debt, reduce debt, eliminate creditor calls at work, stop collection calls, start over financially, discharge debts and/or be debt free in 3 to 5 years. IRS tax problems, tax levies, wage garnishments, back taxes, payroll taxes, income taxes can often be handled in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Divorce/Bankruptcy – past due child support arrears, alimony, spousal support, and divorce debt can often be handled in chapter 13 bankruptcy. The Law Offices of RJ Atkinson handles debt consolidation, loan modifications, credit card debt settlement, debt negotiation, lawsuit defense, IRS problems, credit card lawsuits, TROs temporary restraining orders to foreclosure, forbearance agreements to foreclosure, FDCPA Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lawsuits, FCRA Fair Credit Reporting Act lawsuits, credit report disputes, debt collection lawsuits, adversary complaints in bankruptcy, bankruptcies, foreclosure workouts, mortgage short sales, real estate property tax disputes, civil litigation, commercial litigation, tax lawsuits, small business bankruptcy, corporate bankruptcy, business creditor representation, and most every kind of debt related issue or financially based legal problem on a case by case basis.

Austin Bankruptcy Attorney at RJ Atkinson handle Personal Bankruptcy and Business Bankruptcy cases in and around Austin TX Travis County, as well as the Counties of Williamson, Bastrop, and Hays. If you live in Austin and would like to file for Bankruptcy, the Austin Bankruptcy Lawyer at RJ Atkinson represent people and businesses in Bankruptcy proceedings throughout the Austin area. We accept bankruptcy cases in Austin Texas, Georgetown Texas, Round Rock Texas, San Marcos Texas, or in the Cities of Barton Creek, Bartlett, Bastrop, Bear Creek, Bee Cave, Blanco, Briarcliff, Buda, Cedar Park, Creedmoor, Coupland, Dripping Springs, Elgin, Florence, Garfield, Georgetown, Granger, Hutto, Hudson Bend, Jollyville, Jonestown, Jarrell, Johnson City, Kyle, Lago Vista, Lakeway, Leander, Liberty Hill, Lost Creek, Luling, Manchaca, Manor, Mountain City, Norman’s Crossing, Onion Creek, Pflugerville, Point Venture, Rollingwood, San Leanna, Shady hollow, Smithville, Sunset Valley, Taylor, Thorndale, Thrall, The Hills, Volente, Waterloo, Weir, Webberville, Wells Branch, West Lake Hills, Wimberley, Windmere, Woodcreek, or most anywhere in the Austin area.
Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §528, “We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.”
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