Our aim in this blog is not to discredit or offend other attorneys; our purpose is to inform individuals of the benefits of hiring a Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer verses a general practice attorney when you are contemplating filing bankruptcy. There are some types of law that are very specific and unique in how they are practiced and the rules that govern them that they require a special expertise in order to effectively represent clients. Bankruptcy comes to our mind because that is our specialty, but others include tax law, international corporate law, complex product liability and copyright and patent law.
Because of the complexity of the bankruptcy code and the additional set of specific rules, having an experienced bankruptcy attorney gives you an advantage when filing a bankruptcy case. Here are some of the reasons you should work with a Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer:
1 – Knowledge of Bankruptcy Law
Even though the bankruptcy code has not changed significantly since 2005, local bankruptcy courts are often updating local rules. Furthermore, attorneys who only file one or two bankruptcy cases a year may not need to know the entire bankruptcy code, including changes, and they are likely not familiar with new requirements or odd bankruptcy issues that can arise. For example, a non-bankruptcy attorney may not realize that the client must complete the required financial management course before the deadline or the discharge will be denied. Or, a non-bankruptcy attorney may not understand the dangers of repeat bankruptcy filings or how to avoid losing assets because of exemption problems. A Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer will have recent experience and be up-to-date on the most recent case law and rule changes to ensure that his client is receiving the best possible advice when filing a bankruptcy.
2 – Specializing vs. Generalizing
A Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer is dedicated to providing the best legal advice to clients to protect assets while relieving the burden of debt. They focus their entire practice on bankruptcy and helping people find real solutions to their financial problems. These attorneys and their staff spend 100% of their time studying new case law and learning new ways to help their clients have a successful outcome in bankruptcy court. As we like to say, “Bankruptcy is not what we do, it’s ALL that we do!”
3 – Trust Your Assets in the Most Capable Hands
An experienced Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer follows current case law and changes to exemptions that help protect assets in a bankruptcy case. A general practice attorney may not understand exemption laws or the importance of disclosing every asset to avoid being charged with bankruptcy fraud. If a debtor fails to properly disclose and/or claim an asset exempt, he may lose this asset in a bankruptcy case. It is vital that your bankruptcy attorney understand the intricacies of exemptions and how they apply to bankruptcy.
4 - Proper Documentation
Filing a bankruptcy requires a large number of documents to be filled in completely and honestly – you are signing them under oath, with penalty of perjury. Having an experienced Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer who knows bankruptcy forms inside and out is beneficial. If your paperwork is incorrect, the bankruptcy court can deny the filing.
5 – Your Rights Need to Be Understood and Protected
Debtors have rights under the bankruptcy code and are protected from certain actions creditors may take to collect debts. Hiring a Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer will ensure that you are informed of your rights because appropriate knowledge and experience to ask the right questions and then offer the correct advice. A general practice attorney does this for several areas of laws (i.e. bankruptcy, tax law, real estate, probate, family court, etc.) and may not be aware of changes or mix up or forget important components. Once a case is filed, it is not easy to “undo”, so you should do it right from the very beginning.
6 – Detailed Experience and Insight
An experienced Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer knows all the details and minor sections of law that general practice lawyers may not know or understand because they are trying to stay up-to-date on several areas of law. For example, an experienced bankruptcy attorney will know the exceptions to the general rule that taxes and student loans are non-dischargeable. Most general practice attorneys will simply advise that taxes and student loans are non-dischargeable; in reality, there are a few exceptions! Experienced Minnesota bankruptcy lawyers know these exceptions and other intricate details of the Bankruptcy Code.
Request a free bankruptcy consultation and let us show you how we can help you solve your debt problems. Our experience, knowledge and dedication give our clients an advantage over other bankruptcy debtors.