Once you’ve made the decision to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer in Salt Lake City, you’ve probably been through a lot. You may have had creditors harassing you, wage garnishments, threats of foreclosure. You are understandably confused and worried about what options you have to relieve your financial burdens.
A bankruptcy attorney should help you through this by talking to you about your options…all of your options, including non-bankruptcy as well as chapter 7 bankruptcy and chapter 13 bankruptcy in Utah. Unfortunately, this is not always what bankruptcy attorneys do.
Over the years, I’ve seen several cases where a bankruptcy attorney has coaxed their client into filing for chapter13 relief, when their best option was probably to stick with a chapter 7 bankruptcy. While, there are plenty of good bankruptcy lawyers in Salt Lake City who would never do such a thing, it does happen, and it is unacceptable!
Why would an attorney do this? Unfortunately, it comes down to money. First of all, because of the nature of a chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is easy to work out payment plans, and the attorney is likely to get paid their full fee, because attorneys fees are often distributed first by the trustee. This makes it so that an attorney may get a client to sign up for a chapter 13, when that client would be unable to come up with the money up-front for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Second, an attorney fee for chapter 13 bankruptcy can easily be three times higher than an attorney fee for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. So, unscrupulous attorneys may be tempted to push their clients into a chapter 13.
I’m not saying that chapter 13 bankruptcy relief is never the best option for you; I’m just trying to give you a heads up. When you’re searching for a bankruptcy lawyer, be sure that he or she is willing to discuss all of your options with you. If you feel that the lawyer is trying to push you one way or another – rather than simply advising you about the differences between Chapter 13 bankruptcy and Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and allowing you to come to your own conclusions – that should be a red flag.
Remember, your bankruptcy lawyer is supposed to act like someone who has your best interest at heart. Bankruptcy attorneys are not supposed to act like sleazy used car salesmen (no offense to honest used car salesmen).