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Colorado Bar Association Offers Free Advice for People Considering Filing Bankruptcy

January 7, 2011

Our Riverside County personal bankruptcy attorneys were interested to see a recent article on free legal help offered to people considering bankruptcy in Colorado. The Denver Post published an article Dec. 27 about the Colorado Bar Association's free monthly bankruptcy clinics. The clinics, which are held at the bankruptcy court in Denver, are designed for people who are considering representing themselves through the most common types of individual bankruptcy, Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. The clinic is taught by volunteer attorneys, who say the attendance has shot up dramatically in the past few years. Attorneys who volunteer to teach the clinic say students show up feeling guilty and upset and often with misconceptions, such as the incorrect belief that they can be arrested for debt.

The article focuses on one student, Victoria Torok, who got into debt trying to start a personal training business. With the economic downturn, she said potential clients just don't have the money for personal training. And at 62, she says it's tough to find a job, so she's currently working for herself selling nutritional supplements. Another student, Deanna Rasmussen, said her debt came from medical bills she put on a credit card, combined with reduced hours at work. The class is designed for people who intend to represent themselves if they file for bankruptcy, so it focuses on guiding students through the basics. However, it cannot provide direct legal advice or help students fill out forms. A volunteer attorney said he believes filers are actually better off with an attorney, but understands that the attorney fees may scare some people away.

As Chino consumer bankruptcy lawyers, we'd like to address that issue. It's true that hiring an attorney is not free, but many reputable law firms will roll their fees into the bankruptcy itself. As the comments in the article show, people frequently have incorrect ideas about debt, and many are also very upset to even consider bankruptcy. This makes it easy to get confused when dealing with complex laws. Judges tend to forgive minor mistakes from people representing themselves, but get impatient if they feel the filer is wasting everyone's time. A bad mistake, or an unkind judge, can get the entire case dismissed. If you're lucky, you can start over -- but judges may also bar filers from re-filing within a certain time, if the mistake was serious. In very serious cases, filers can even be federally prosecuted for bankruptcy fraud.

Howard Law PC works with bankruptcy filers and people considering bankruptcy every day, so we understand that our clients are in financial rough spots. That's why we work with our clients to find creative solutions to fee issues as well as to their cases. Our experienced San Juan Capistrano individual bankruptcy attorneys have the knowledge that people representing themselves must put in long hours to acquire, as well as a familiarity with the process that can't be learned from books. All of this helps our clients make good, well-informed decisions. We handle the complicated financial and legal paperwork for our clients, so clients can focus on their own responsibilities. When creditors violate the automatic stay or challenge clients' bankruptcy plans, we know how to protect clients' rights and interests. And we offer free, confidential case evaluations, so you can learn more at no further risk.

If you're considering bankruptcy as a way to deal with overwhelming debt, you should call Howard Law to learn more about your rights and your legal options. For a free, confidential evaluation of your case, contact us through the Internet or call us toll-free at 1-800-872-5925 today.