My Bankruptcy Lawyer is a Debt Relief Agent!

17 Feb My Bankruptcy Lawyer is a Debt Relief Agent!

My bankruptcy lawyer told me he is a Debt Relief Agent. Is this good or bad? Does my attorney work for the government? Will he (or she) be ratting me out on all my secrets? Or is my lawyer now somehow better qualified to help me file bankruptcy and relieve me from my debt burden?

These are all good questions, but the real answer is “fuhgetaboutit”. It’s not entirely meaningless, but if you see or hear these words, it means the attorney nows the requirements of the law. But be more concerned about what you need to do.

Your attorneyis working for you. There are rules about confidentiality and nothing you disclose is released unless you authorize it or it’s required by law. (Like you tell your lawyer that you are about to kill someone.) On the other hand, you have to be completely honest about your situation. It’s the great unknown facts that can hurt your lawyer’s efforts to help you the most. Bankruptcy requires full disclosure, but don’t worry, your lawyer does not work for the government – he works for you.

So where does this title comes from? In their efforts to address what was perceived by rampant fraud in the bankruptcy system, Congress imposed this and other requirements on attorneysunder penalty of criminal prosecution. There are many disclosures that must be made to you and some things that can’t be said at all. It’s very confusing, but the answer is learn all you can about the system, pick a qualified attorneyand work closely with your professional to obtain the results you are looking for.

And if your lawyer claims to be a Debt Relief Agent, it means that he know about, and is following, the law. So maybe he is more qualified after all.

“ConnecticutGene Melchionne is a bankruptcy lawyer covering the entire State of Connecticut. He can often be found on Google+ and Twitter, where he shares information about consumer protection issues and personal finance.

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