If I have to find all of my creditors why do I need an attorney?
What if I do not know who my creditors are?
If you do not know who your creditors are, there are a couple of things you can do:
- Run your credit report or have your attorney run it for you (usually a fee)
- Start holding onto bills, letters, etc. that you receive in the mail
- Get creditor info when collectors or creditors call.
What information do I need to know about my creditors?
The bankruptcy petition asks for certain information about your creditors. At a minimum, you need:
- Name of creditor
- Amount owed
- Date the debt was incurred
- Consideration (what the debt is from; i.e. medical bill, credit card, loan, etc.)
Do I need to know the original creditor and the collection agencies? How do I know who has it when they get sold to a new collection agency all the time?
This is something that you just want to do your best on. You want to list any creditor that you are aware of so list the original creditors information and any collection agency that you are aware was a holder of the debt.
What if I find more creditors after the case is filed? Do I have to pay those creditors back?
No you do not have to pay those creditors. As long as your bankruptcy case is still open, you can add creditors. However, there is a fee for this you want to do the best you can to list all of your creditors before the case is filed.
Why do I need an Attorney if I have to provide the information myself?
You decide filing bankruptcy is the right decision. You seek out an attorney and decide that the attorneys at Licker Law Firm can best serve your needs…. You come in and we go over your options and give you some “homework” on information to provide in order to prepare your petition. We ask for paycheck stubs, taxes, information about your expenses, personal property and your creditors. Then you think…. “Well wait a minute, if I am doing all of this work, why do I need an attorney?”
- The bankruptcy petition that has to be filed is the same whether you are represented by an attorney or not. You are held to the same standard. There are many forms, schedules and statements that must be filed. If they are not filed, the court can dismiss your case. If that happens you are now out court costs, still have the debt, and would have to pay court costs again to refile.
- You are signing all of your documents under penalty of perjury that they are true and correct.
- The exemptions available to protect your property change based on certain information
- Trustee can liquidate property that is not protected under the bankruptcy
In short, it is not worth the risk of having all of these issues. You want a fresh start so hire an attorney and make sure it is done right the first time.
Keep in mind the attorney has no way of knowing personally what debt or property you have accumulated. While we can run a credit report to get you started, there is still some work that goes into filing for bankruptcy.
All in all, the amount of work that is required certainly worth getting rid of your debt!