Ever since the release of the phenomenon called the Internet, it seems that before people go to see a professional, they will take the time to look it up online. Don’t get me wrong, the Internet can be a wonderful tool if used properly. When it comes to financial matters in making the decision to file for bankruptcy the Internet is a good starting point, but should not be in and all. The problem with online searches is first of all, one has to make sure that it’s even in the US. Next, when it comes to information about filing bankruptcy it’s important to make sure that the material is dated. The bankruptcy code is constantly changing and information from five years ago, no longer applies to today. Sometimes an individual will find a website that has what they believe as all the answers, only to find out that the information no longer applies to their situation.
There are many blogs online that trip up individuals that are making the decision on a bankruptcy filing. People will post their questions and others will answer. The problem with this is, they really don’t know who’s answering the question. Is it someone goofing around or is it someone who has expertise in the Bankruptcy arena. The other problem with the answers to these questions is although the bankruptcy code is federal law, every state has its own twist on the law including the bankruptcy exemption laws. The qualifications to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy now vary from state to state and where someone in California might qualify to file Chapter 7 under a certain situation, it might not apply to a person in Florida.
All of this gives food for thought. This is a great way for an individual to come up with questions to ask a bankruptcy attorney before filing bankruptcy. An individual should take a little bit of time and peruse the web looking for information that they would think applies to them. Bookmark some of the pages and cross-reference them with multiple websites. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court also has a website that has some information on it that can be used. After doing diligence, take some time to jot down some questions that the person might believe applies to them. When the individual has enough information it’s time to find a bankruptcy attorney to have a consultation. A bankruptcy attorney will typically give a free consultation for someone that’s interested in filing bankruptcy. In the least, the person will probably get an hour of time from the bankruptcy attorney discussing the individual’s situation. If the attorney doesn’t believe that the person should file bankruptcy, usually they will give them some options and what direction to head in. The individuals that do not qualify the file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, can ask about filing Chapter 13 as an alternative. Before making the decision to hire the bankruptcy attorney, the individual should make sure they feel comfortable with a law office as they will be spending quite a bit of time dealing with attorney and their staff.
Back in 2005, Congress made huge changes to the bankruptcy code making it much more complex for an individual to go it alone. While filing bankruptcy can be very stressful, one shouldn’t add any more stress fighting the unknown by not having the representation of a bankruptcy attorney. They Internet has a wealth of information regarding bankruptcy filing but it’s no substitute for the expertise of a bankruptcy attorney.