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You May Need an Attorney and Not Even Know It

People take legal matters into their own hands every day, and sometimes they lose money and property in the process. You can make a legally binding contract without using an attorney, but you are risking missing some big legal loopholes and laws you may not be familiar with that can not only make your contract invalid but can actually cost you in the end. When you are selling or purchasing real estate, tackling the creation of a will or even just loaning money to a friend, a consultation with an attorney can be a positive step. I'll show you when and why you need an attorney.



You May Need an Attorney and Not Even Know It

Filing For Bankruptcy? Avoid These Mistakes That Could Derail Your Entire Case

by Barry Butler

With the way the economy is lately, many people are turning to bankruptcy as a way to get out from under burdensome debt. Unfortunately, it doesn't take much to find yourself facing out-of-control debt. Even if you were once able to afford all your monthly payments, sudden illness, a death in the family, loss of employment, and even divorce can leave you in a position where bankruptcy may be the only option. If you've reached the point where bankruptcy is now a necessity, it's important that you avoid mistakes that could come back to cause you serious problems later. Here are three actions that could cause your bankruptcy case to come to a grinding halt.

Failing to Disclose Your Income

Whether you file for chapter 7 or chapter 13 personal bankruptcy protection, you're going to have a trustee appointed to your case. The trustee is responsible for ensuring that all your paperwork is completed properly, and honestly. That means they'll be going over every inch of the information you provide, including your income. When you fill out your paperwork, you must include all your monthly income. You must also make sure that the numbers you write down match the numbers on your pay stubs. If the numbers don't match, the trustee will conduct their own research to determine the reason for the discrepancies.

Hiding Your Assets

When you file for bankruptcy protection, you'll need to list all the assets you own, including cars, houses, jewelry, etc. You'll also need to assign a value to those assets. If you hide assets by placing them in storage units, or otherwise keep them away from the trustee, your case may be rejected by the courts. You'll also be met with serious problems if you assign values that are too far below the actual value of your assets. To prevent problems, never hide your assets prior to filing for bankruptcy, and make sure you assign the proper value to each asset you own.

Exaggerating Your Living Expenses

When you fill out your paperwork, you'll be required to provide details of your monthly living expenses. From those expenses, the courts will determine how much you can afford to pay each month towards any bankruptcy repayment plans. Be as honest as you can when itemizing your monthly living expenses. The trustee may require receipts to justify the amounts. If you can't provide receipts for those expenses, you may not be allowed to claim them.

If the time has come to file for bankruptcy, talk to your bankruptcy attorney about other ways to avoid problems with the process. Visit a website like http://www.derkdemareelaw.com to learn more.