Don’t Need a Southern California Bankruptcy Attorney? Think Again!

Posted by on Sep 20, 2013 in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Issues, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Issues, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Issues | 1 comment

I just ran across the website of a non-attorney business that said you don’t need a bankruptcy attorney for consumer cases, and that all consumer bankruptcy attorneys were basically overcharging for services that could be performed for a fraction of the price by non-attorneys.    This type of blanket statement is just flat out scary because it’s wrong.       

When I interned for the United States Trustee’s Office, I assisted with cases where the US Government pursued individuals and businesses that prepared bankruptcies illegally under the bankruptcy code in violation of 11 USC 110.  Not only were individuals commonly overcharged in violation of both local rules of bankruptcy and the federal rules of bankruptcy, many of the cases were prepared improperly.    And even worse, some of the issues in the bankruptcy filings were so serious, the debtors  didn’t receive a discharge.

On top of that, anyone who is paid even a cent to assist you in preparing a bankruptcy must disclose the fact they assisted you.  Many non-attorneys (and yes, even some attorneys) will take your money yet not disclose on the forms that they assisted you.  Use your common sense to figure out why that is…


Here’s a few basic examples of why you might just want an bankruptcy attorney’s assistance:

1. I once had a client come in and tell me he needed chapter 13 because that’s what he was told by someone else.  I told him chapter 13 fees were higher than chapter 7 in most cases .  The client told me that wasn’t an issue because of his circumstances.   Upon reviewing his case, I recommended chapter 7 because the client didn’t need to file chapter 13 which requires a repayment of debt.  Our chapter 7 case was successful, and the client saved thousands of dollars not only in attorney’s fees, but also fees that he would have otherwise paid into a chapter 13 plan.   Yes, the client could have filed a ch13 case with a petition preparer for $200.00.  However, it is highly unlikely the case would have been confirmed under the proposed plan, and furthermore, the client would have had to repay money under the plan!   Instead, he simply filed a chapter 7 and saved thousands by coming to me instead.

2. I once saved a bankruptcy client almost $100,000.00 through a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case.

3. Most reputable attorneys actually appear with you at the 341 meeting of creditors.  I regularly personally appear with my clients.  Most other reputable attorneys appear personally or  at least have a reputable attorney colleague appear on their behalf.   Beware of petition preparers and even attorneys who won’t appear with you in Court.

4.  An actual reputable bankruptcy attorney is trained to see problems that might arise in your case and tell you BEFORE the case if filed.  The guys who don’t even disclose they assisted you with the bankruptcy documents could care less since they are violating bankruptcy law under 11 USC Section 110 by not disclosing that you paid them for assistance.

5.  People who have car loans need to file reaffirmation agreements (See In Re Dumont 9th Circuit).   I don’t charge my clients extra for this assistance and do it as part of my services.   People who don’t hire the right attorney get charged EXTRA for this help.  And those who go to a document preparer have to tough it  out and figure it out on their own.

These are just some examples of how a person can benefit from hiring the right bankruptcy attorney.    At JCH LAW FIRM, we are dedicated to our clients and have their best interest at hand.  Call or Contact us today for assistance.







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