I Know More Than My Bankruptcy Attorney?

22 Feb I Know More Than My Bankruptcy Attorney?

So, after months of considering your financial situation, you scheduled a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney and retained him or her to assist you in your filing.

So far, so good.

Hopefully, you have retained an experienced and skilled attorney. An attorney who is at the forefront of the trends in bankruptcy law and active in the bankruptcy community like being a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA). It should give you peace of mind that your attorney will be able to appropriately represent you and assure you that things will get better for you.

Why is it then that often people will then fail to follow the advice of the attorney? Why is it that you question the professional who has been practicing bankruptcy law for many years in favor of following the advice of a “friend” or based on something that you read over the internet? Contrary to what We The People may say on their website, a bankruptcy case–your bankruptcy case–is not a game for amateurs.

As an example, once, there was a lady who had significant credit card debt. She owned her house with her husband and they had significant equity in their house. Husband did not have any debt in his name that he could not manage so he did not need to file bankruptcy. Because the house was held astenants by the entirety, the trustee would not worry about her house, that is, would not sell the house.

Unfortunately, husband decided that he knew more bankruptcy law than the professional who had been practicing law for twenty years. He had the wife execute a deed to him conveying her interest in the real estate to him. Well now! Instead of a fairly routine bankruptcy case, it has now gotten complicated. Now, the chapter 7 trustee may decide that debtor wife has transferred property without receiving fair market value and that could be a fraudulent transfer and the trustee could seek to bring that asset back into the estate in order to sell it in order to pay wife’s creditors. Of course, had wife left well enough alone, none of these problems would exist.

Fortunately, the attorney was able to fix things but not without charging additional fees to the client.

When you hire a qualified bankruptcy attorney, you should expect that he or she knows what they are talking about. You can rely on that advice.

But, as the quote goes, “If you think it is expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur!

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Adrian Lapas, Esq.

I've been practicing bankruptcy law in North Carolina since 1993, and am certified as a specialist in consumer bankruptcy law by the North Carolina State Bar.
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