Bankruptcy vs Debt Relief
How Chapter 13 is different from a private debt consolidation service
The Chapter 13 laws and the Court have the power and authority to help you in ways that private debt consolidation services cannot. With a private debt consolidation there is nothing filed with the Court and the laws that protect you do not apply. It has been our experience that private "Debt Consolidation Companies" and “Credit Counselors” don’t handle foreclosures, taxes, and car payments. They usually only handle credit card debt, and they are paid by the creditors. Often their monthly payment is not affordable. Some make false promises. In Chapter 13 the interest rate on credit cards is usually reduced to zero percent (0%).
Wouldn’t it be cheaper to do it myself or go to a paralegal or other non-attorney?
We don’t think so. It's too easy for non-attorneys to make costly mistakes. They are not licensed by the State of California to practice law and they cannot legally represent you against creditors and they cannot appear in Court. Anyone can hang out a shingle and say they are a paralegal, but they are not licensed or regulated. They also lack the legal training and experience of a licensed attorney.
Bankruptcy law is very intricate and requires specialized training and experience. Relying on a non-attorney who is not allowed appear in Court with you, or doing it yourself, or even using an attorney who is not highly trained and experienced in bankruptcy are all extremely risky approaches. It is best to have a qualified Chapter 13 attorney to advise you and who will represent you in Court, help with creditor problems that may arise, and most importantly to get your payment Plan approved.