In the forth post of our 10 Reasons to Hire a New Jersey Bankruptcy Attorney blog series, we will discuss how to avoid common mistakes when filing for bankruptcy in New Jersey.
If your finances are a mess and you are faced with foreclosure, you may be hesitant to retain a New Jersey Bankruptcy attorney to help you strategize and assess your options simply out of reluctance to take on yet another financial obligation. While it’s generally prudent to avoid taking on obligations when you’re in debt, it can be a significant mistake to fail to consult, in a timely manner, with a NJ Bankruptcy lawyer. Here’s why:
- You may make unrealistic promises to creditors – As the adage goes, “Pride cometh before the fall.” If you have spent your life working hard, saving, and generally being financially prudent, you may avoid filing for bankruptcy NJ out of fear that doing so might represent a lowering of your standards. Unfortunately, when you attempt to negotiate directly with creditors, you can get yourself in hot water. By making unrealistic promises or by behaving unnecessarily antagonistically towards creditors, you can complicate your relationships with them, legal and otherwise.
- You could file for the wrong bankruptcy – New Jersey bankruptcy law allows petitioners to file for various kinds of relief, including chapter 7, chapter 11, and chapter 13. In addition, some individuals may qualify for reorganization that falls short of bankruptcy – such as credit counseling. The differences among these various kinds of relief can be subtle. You can’t make a keen assessment about what kind of relief is best just by reading about your options on the internet. Only a battle-tested, veteran New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer can really help you make the best choice – and he or she can do so only after deeply investigating the state of your assets, debts, financials, hopes, and anxieties. If you file for the wrong kind of bankruptcy, you could potentially lose major assets that you could otherwise protect – such as a car or house.
- Overworking to make up the difference – As another old adage goes, “If you are in a hole, stop digging.” Often, individuals who are in debt may take on second or even third jobs to try to pay the bills and keep everything in balance. This may be a plausible strategy for the short term, but working yourself to the bone is almost never a successful strategy for the long term. Unless and until you work with an attorney who can help you understand your legal options and plan for a reasonable future, you may find yourself running hard on the treadmill and getting nowhere.
- Risk of winding up with bad counsel – If you’re desperate to deal with your debt or to save your home, you might be surprised at how many different organizations and individuals will show up to “help you” get out of debt and reorganize your finances. While some of these individuals and institutions no doubt provide good services, bad advisors abound. If you rely on unethical, naïve, or incompetent advisors, you could wind up in much more complicated and frustrating financial straits.
- Could accidentally perpetrate fraud – Here is a final adage to consider: “desperate times call for desperate measures.” This adage, perhaps, is rather inappropriate. In fact, when you are under serious financial pressures, taking desperate action can often lead to trouble. If you fail to disclose all of your assets on a bankruptcy filing form, for instance, or if you intentionally downplay your debts in the hopes that the court “won’t notice,” you could be severely penalized. In fact, under certain situations, you can even be arrested for white collar crime.
To avoid making completely unnecessary mistakes, consider retaining the services of a confident, experienced, and highly reputable New Jersey bankruptcy attorney, such as Robert Manchel. Call the Law Offices of Robert Manchel now at 866-503-5655 for good, reliable, and compassionate assistance with your financial problems. Unlike other attorneys who practice bankruptcy NJ law, Mr. Manchel focuses exclusively on bankruptcy and foreclosure resolution, and he holds accreditation from the American Bar Association and the American Board of Certification.
To find out how you can make the most out of your New Jersey bankruptcy options, please read our next post.