Article written by Columbia, SC bankruptcy attorney Daniel Stone

Some of my bankruptcy clients ask me if it is necessary to have an attorney to file for  bankruptcy protection. My answer is that while an attorney is not required, in most cases a Debtor needs an attorney to file the bankruptcy because they find that it is too difficult to navigate the bankruptcy maze on their own. In addition, Debtors usually find that they need or want an attorney with them at the Trustee hearing to support them as they are being asked questions by the Trustee. Finally, Debtors also find that they need an advocate to deal with their creditors during the bankruptcy process. The following are small number of items a bankruptcy attorney can do for a debtor :

Hear are a few things a bankruptcy attorney can do for you:provide asset consultation ,bankruptcy consultation, apply appropriate state exemption analysis, determine jurisdictional issues, file your case, send supporting documents to the trustee, due diligence to look for potential assets and prior case filings, determine if you pass the Means Test, interpret your payment advices, look for dangerous issues such as preference payments and prior transfers, deal with your creditors, draft a feasible Chapter 13 plan, make sure all your creditors are served a copy of the Chapter 13 plan, attend the 341 hearing with you, negotiate settlements, deal with post 341 issues, attend bankruptcy hearings for you, file motions, consult with trustee, negotiate with trustee