Credit repair: when do i need an attorney?
When do you need an attorney during credit repair proceedings?
Living within our means can be tough, especially when we’re bombarded with messages like “GET CASH NOW!” “INSTANT APPROVAL—NO CREDIT CHECK!” and other such temptations. We soon find ourselves hopeless and scraping for cash.
Having too much debt can be scary and not being able to pull yourself out of it is even scarier. You’ve diced up those high interest credit cards, cancelled your golf club membership and are eating ground chuck instead of filet mignon. But, you’re still in the hole. At what point should you throw in the towel and call an attorney?
Legal assistance should be your last resort—it can be an expensive, stressful endeavor. Still, there are certain situations where it would be in your best interest to consult a lawyer; for instance:
- Your vehicle has been revoked
- Your wages are being garnished
- A lien has been placed on your property
- Creditors are behaving in an inappropriate and/or illegal manner
- You wish to file for bankruptcy
Managing your debts can be a time consuming, complicated procedure. Laws relating to debt collection and repayment are complex and often subject to change. An attorney can assist in organizing the necessary paperwork and researching credible organizations.
A lawyer is also better suited than you are to engage in thorough and effective communication with your creditors. He or she may be able to:
- Explain your options
- Help you prioritize your bills
- Assist in retaining your assets
- Help maximize your collateral
- Stop creditor harassment
- Prevent foreclosure or repossession or your automobile or home
- Avoid IRS collections and lawsuits
- Assist with loan agreements between you and a debt consolidation firm
- Help negotiate a settlement with your creditors
- Reorganize, consolidate or eliminate your debt
You should never attempt to file a personal bankruptcy without legal assistance. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often referred to as a “straight” or liquidation filing, as it absolves you of all your debt. Should you attempt to file by yourself, you could be faced with dismissed cases, increased creditor harassment and a barrage of financial burdens. Additionally, it’s especially favorable to seek legal council if you’re being unfairly treated by creditors. This includes, but is not limited to such behavior as:
- Contacting you at work
- Calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Using abusive language
- Contacting your loved ones as a means to collect your debt
- Adding unauthorized charges
- Claim to be an attorney
- Asking for your checking account number
- Advising you to pay with a credit card
- *Additionally, once begin the process of filing for bankruptcy, creditors can no longer seek legal action against you, and, in most instances, cannot continue with legal proceedings already underway.
Provided you locate a reputable, knowledgeable firm, consulting an attorney can reap enormous benefits. You will stop receiving harassing calls from creditors, you can be assured that your debt is being managed professionally and effectively and your inevitable anxiety will lessen until you are debt free. Benefits are also afforded to your creditors, which can positively impact you in the future. They will receive money owed to them and reduce the cost of debt collection.
These benefits will thus help you become are more trustworthy creditor which will, in turn, enable you to buy a house, rent a car, even get a job.