3 Reasons Why You Need a Bankruptcy Attorney
Technically, you don’t need a bankruptcy attorney. But going through this process without one is crazy, and the few pennies saved can cost you your bank account, car, or house. To help explain, here are five reasons why you should retain a Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer. (Specifically, one who’s been voted best bankruptcy attorney four times and chosen by L.A. bankruptcy lawyers to be President twice).
1. Bankruptcy lawyers can give legal advice
Trust a licensed lawyer.
Sure, you can have a paralegal prepare your documents. But that’s all they can do. They cannot practice law, and cannot even tell you whether you should do a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13. Only a lawyer (and preferably a bankruptcy attorney) can give legal advice. Sometimes, legal document assistants give advice, and they’re violating California law.
Only a bankruptcy attorney who has passed the California Bar can give you legal advice. There are lots of people who didn’t pass the bar who claim to know as much as a lawyer. But legally, without a bar license, they’re only allowed to type the information you give them. You are completing the papers yourself, and they just take what you say and type it up. They may offer to do more, but now they’re veering into practice of law territory. And if they’re wrong, you have no one to complain to. They’re not accountable for their mistakes and innocent consumer debtors get burned.
A bankruptcy attorney, not a dabbler.
Once you’ve decided to retain an attorney for your debt solution, you don’t want just any lawyer. You will want a legal professional skilled and experienced in this very specialized field of law. Not just anyone, but a bankruptcy attorney.
Just because a counsel files bankruptcy cases doesn’t make them a bankruptcy lawyer any more than riding in an airplane a dozen times makes you a pilot. There are lots of attorney dabblers out there who will file bankruptcy cases. They’ll also take car accident cases, divorce and custody matters, and then help you plan your will and living trust. But they lack the experience and insight to stay focused on the changes (and danger spots) of this narrow field of law.
At Los Angeles Bankruptcy, I only file bankruptcy cases, and have stayed focused as a laser beam on this field for two decades. When the law changed in 2005, a lot of bankruptcy lawyers fled the field or diversified taking on dog bite cases or whatever because things became slow. I kept doing only bankruptcy. When the housing crisis and Great Recession came in 2009, I got busy, and saw a flood of new dabblers trying to make a buck off the disaster.
When the economy recovered in the years after 2014, bankruptcy filings went down, but I remained specialized on just bankruptcy. Now that COVID and lockdowns wrecked havoc with the economy in 2021, the future is uncertain. But what is certain is that I continue to practice bankruptcy cases, and only bankruptcy cases. I’ve helped thousands of people and discharged over $50,000,000 in credit card debt. This dedication is what makes a bankruptcy attorney, and is what you want. There are just a handful of us in Los Angeles. I’m one of them, and would like to help you, too.
2. It’s affordable with a payment plan
Affordable payment plan
A good Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer has an affordable payment plan. This is how we’ve been able to stay in business for two decades, helping people who don’t have a lot of money. When you consider that you’re going to discharge tens of thousands of dollars of debt, paying a skilled professional a fraction of that is smart insurance.
You are able to file bankruptcy on your own to try to save a few bucks. But at what long-term cost? “It’s just forms!” Many people who try to do all their own forms end up having their cases dismissed, and maybe have to wait 6 months or more to file again, even if they want an attorney to help them. In the meantime, all their bills and debts and creditors can call again at home and at work or even sue or foreclose.
Protecting your assets
And even if the bankruptcy case you file yourself doesn’t get dismissed, you have to worry about whether the bankruptcy trustee can take some of your stuff. You can try to research yourself exemptions and whether you can use a wildcard and homestead, but it can be confusing. And again, a paralegal can’t help you with bankruptcy exemptions because that’s practicing law without a license.
A skilled bankruptcy lawyer can advise you before you even file your case what risk you may have. Then, in preparing to file, can take steps to minimize any exposure or risk you’ll lose things by properly filling out exemptions.
And while you might think, “how hard can this be?” There’s still a lot of confusion among bankruptcy attorneys about the California homestead exemption, the L.A. County median home sale price, and gotchas on how to lose the homestead exemption. There are tons of ins and outs, nooks and crannies, and one wrong step and you lose your house. Trust a professional with your valuables. Otherwise, you’re literally betting your house.
3. We’re respected by peers and appreciated by clients
So you’ve reviewed bankruptcy FAQ, learned about the types of bankruptcies, know you need to file bankruptcy and now decided to retain a bankruptcy lawyer. But now you just need to find someone that can trust. A lawyer who specializes in consumer debt to help you with something that will shape your financial life for years to come.
Respected by other bankruptcy lawyers
We are humbled to have been chosen by some of the best Los Angeles bankruptcy attorneys to be President of the cdcbaa, the largest association of consumer debt lawyers in Southern California. Then after guiding the organization through the COVID chaos, Hale Andrew Antico was elected President for a second term in 2021, and continues to serve on its board of directors. Mr. Antico doesn’t just attend continuing legal education webinars, he hosts and moderates the panels attended by other bankruptcy lawyers.
Prior to leading cdcbaa, Mr. Antico was selected by his peers and bankruptcy judges and trustees to be President of the Southern California Bankruptcy Inn of Court. This is an organization of bankruptcy judges, bankruptcy trustees, and of course debt lawyers. The Inn of Court’s focus is on elevating the practice of law with presentations while also building relationships between the different groups of members above
Appreciated by clients
Hale Antico was honored to be voted best bankruptcy lawyer in local newspapers not once or twice, but four times. This shows a level of trust and appreciation by clients who know the level of service we provide.
Further, we are blessed to receive so many 5-star reviews on Yelp and Google. This is important when trying to find an attorney not only skilled and experienced in this nuanced specialty, but with the care and compassion for what can be an emotional decision and process.
In short, you want not just an attorney, but a bankruptcy lawyer to help you with a confusing maze-like procedure. You’re also going to want someone with an affordable payment plan, who is able to protect your assets so you don’t lose things in the bankruptcy. And finally, you want someone who is respected by other Los Angeles bankruptcy attorneys, and appreciated by the thousands of clients he’s helped for twenty years.
The choice is simple: Hale Andrew Antico of Los Angeles Bankruptcy .net. I’d be honored to have the opportunity to help you.
For most people, it really pays to contact a lawyer who knows this area. You get what you pay for. Don’t delay: set up a consultation with an affordable bankruptcy lawyer and let us help you now.