As experienced bankruptcy attorneys, we are often faced with clients who are concerned about filing bankruptcy. Some common concerns are physical worries about feared, tangible losses like whether or not they’ll lose their car or their house. Others are more emotional worries. The most common emotional worry we see potential bankruptcy filers experience is shame. Yet you should never feel ashamed to do what’s best for you and your family.
The Bankruptcy Process May Not Be as Hard to Face as You Fear:
For most people, bankruptcy is a fairly routine process. The process is not simple – and there are a lot of ways it can go wrong if you don’t lean heavily on an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Still, when handled correctly, most bankruptcy cases proceed without problems. 800,000 Americans filed bankruptcy in 2016. Most of them worked alongside experienced bankruptcy attorneys and did everything they were supposed to do, and had a very dull, routine bankruptcy process for everyone involved.
When is the Bankruptcy Process Not Routine?
There are a few situations that can occur during a bankruptcy that can cause things to get interesting:
- When creditors show up to challenge the bankruptcy filing
- When clients intentionally (or unintentionally) do something that can lead to suspicion of fraud
Both of the above situations can easily be avoided by working with a good bankruptcy attorney.
The easiest way to avoid these situations is to work with an experienced attorney. If you are working with an experienced attorney and you somehow end up in either of these situations, it is incredibly beneficial to have someone beside you that knows how to help.
Many Bankruptcy Filers Never Even See a Judge:
While the possibility for complications exists, most bankruptcy filers never even see a judge. Before filing, many have worst-case scenario visions of themselves personally standing in front of a stranger answering questions and defending or justifying their choices, their lifestyle, their purchases, and their failures. This is not a regular occurrence, and versions of this only happen in cases that get interesting. Most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases don’t even go before a judge.
If Chapter 7 Proceedings Do Get Interesting:
If you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you do end up before a judge, they aren’t going to ask you why you are in debt or judge your past spending sprees as unwise, or ask you why you don’t have more money in savings. If you do end up in front of a bankruptcy court judge, they’ll be requesting that you review a complex issue in the case, or answer simple questions like does the creditor have the grounds to challenge your bankruptcy case? In Chapter 13, it is more likely that a petitioner will see a judge once – when confirming the repayment plan. Still, the judge will not be analyzing your past financial decisions or judging your mental agility; the judge will be deciding if the plan fits in the federal bankruptcy guidelines.
If you need to file bankruptcy, and you are postponing getting in touch because you are ashamed of your financial situation, please don’t hesitate any longer. Most bankruptcy offices in the Chattanooga area don’t have a single Consumer Bankruptcy Specialist on staff. Our office is the only one in Chattanooga with two. You are in good hands with Kenneth C. Rannick P.C.