Consumer finance companies provide an alternative to banks for individuals who need to borrow money. Unlike a bank or credit union, a consumer finance company doesn’t offer savings or other deposit accounts. Typically, finance companies will make loans to consumers with weak credit who don’t qualify for a bank loan.
Consumer Finance Company Features
- Consumer finance companies are licensed by states to lend money to consumers for both business and personal reasons. The lender category of consumer finance companies doesn’t include title loan businesses or pawnshops. Some consumer finance companies make auto loans with the vehicle as collateral or offer secured and unsecured credit card accounts. State laws regulate how much consumers can borrow and set limits on interest rates. For example, in Florida a consumer finance company can lend a person up to $25,000. Florida caps interest rates on consumer finance company loans at 30 percent for the first $3,000 owed. The interest rate on the next $1,000 owed is limited to 24 percent. If the principal balance exceeds $4,000, the maximum rate on the excess can’t be more than 18 percent. Since each state sets its own rules, the limits on consumer finance company loans may be different where you live.
Investment banks arrange financing for private companies. Investment bankers are responsible for matching businesses that require financing with investors who are willing to provide capital in exchange for bonds or stock. Generally all investment bankers pursue advanced education and receive specialized training in the field. There is stiff competition for investment banking jobs, but those who are successful tend to enjoy high salaries and comprehensive benefits.
- Depending on the client’s situation, an investment banker’s duties vary. They sometimes act as sales agents for their clients. They advise companies on their financing options, such as issuing stock or bonds, and find buyers for the securities. When clients wish to arrange large financial transactions, such as a merger, acquisition or sale of a subsidy, an investment banker may negotiate the deal. Investment bankers also consult when companies are experiencing financial difficulties, and attempt to find solutions. If clients decide to offer new stock, investment bankers may arrange for their bank to underwrite the stock, so the client will not have to assume financial liability. In addition, investment bankers may oversee their clients’ investments.
- Most investment bankers earn a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). Those who enter the field without an MBA generally have a bachelor’s degree in finance, business, economics or accounting, and begin as analysts with an investment bank. They receive training on the job, during which they have limited interaction with clients and instead focus their efforts on creating information books that are used to sell products to clients. Training also includes instruction in the specific products and services that the bank offers, effective sales techniques and securities analysis. Most analysts work toward an MBA while employed if they plan to stay in the field. After several years, analysts either receive a promotion to associate or are let go. Candidates who already have MBAs usually begin as associates.
- Most investment bankers work in comfortable offices, though the environment is often quite stressful. They usually work long hours, including nights and weekends, and face extreme pressure as they try to negotiate mergers, acquisitions and corporate financing. Many investment banks have a large number of international clients, so investment bankers are often required to travel around the world. Bankers at the junior level usually face the greatest pressure as the job tends to become more manageable with experience.
- According to the Pay Scale, a salary information website, the median salary for associate investment bankers with less than a year of experience ranged from $47,778 to $96,102 as of May 2010. Those with one to four years of experience were paid between $57,617 and $96,682, while those with five to nine years earned between $69,855 and $101,636. Associate investment bankers with 10 to 19 years of experience earned as much as $106,283.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment for securities, commodities and financial services sales agents, including investment bankers, will increase by nine percent between 2008 and 2018, which is the same rate as the average for all occupations.Recent global financial problems coupled with industry consolidation will be the most significant factors in limiting job growth. Investment bankers may face sharp competition as jobs dwindle, so those with MBAs will enjoy the best prospects.
- Find out the company philosophy. The company managers should be able to provide proof that shows how they invest, which risks they take and how they minimize the risks of investments. The philosophy of the company should be acceptable before considering any other factors about the company. The public disclosure of any investment company can be obtained from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investment Adviser Public Disclosure, or IAPD, website.
- Look at the company process of investing. The process that the company uses should match up with what it claims for a philosophy. If company managers claim that they invest in environmental friendly investments and then turn around and invest client money in stocks or companies that are known to harm the environment, the company is not a good company.
- Ask questions of the people working for the company, especially the individuals who are handling client money. Questions should include asking about their methods and understanding of the company processes and philosophy, whether they work individually or as a team, who they work under and how they make investment decisions. It is very important that the people in the company that handle client money are considered before hiring a company.
- Find out about the company’s background. Check on the company through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s website, under the broker check section. FINRA’s search will give information about the company including whether the company has committed crimes in the last ten years or if it has filed for bankruptcy.
- Find out how the company charges clients. Some financial companies charge very specific fees and rates while other companies, especially hedge funds, will charge a specific percentage of the investment gains instead. This should be clarified to determine if the fees and charges are acceptable.
- Interview attorneys to find the right replacement. Set up appointments where you explain your current situation and the problems you have with your current attorney. Respond to the questions the attorney asks regarding the status of your bankruptcy case. The new attorney will want to get as much information as possible to ascertain if he can provide you with the help you need. Choose a bankruptcy attorney who is patient and willing to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.
- Discuss the attorney’s fees for taking on your case. Find out how soon the new attorney can begin working on the case, and work out payment arrangements. You want to ensure the new attorney will have the time and resources to properly handle your case at its current stage within the bankruptcy process. Sign the retainer agreement, which should state exactly how much the attorney will charge and include an explanation of the legal services the attorney will provide.
- Inform the old bankruptcy attorney in writing via email and a mailed letter that you will no longer need his services. Let him know that you have retained new counsel to handle your bankruptcy case. Request that the attorney forward all of the paperwork you provided to him and any documents he received from creditors, the trustee or bankruptcy court to either you or your new attorney. Provide the mailing address where the paperwork should be sent. You can speak with the old attorney about your decision to terminate the attorney-client relationship, but you should also notify him of your decision in writing.
- Contact the newly hired attorney and inform him that the old attorney has received written notification of the termination. The new attorney can draft a motion to substitute attorney or draft a stipulation to substitute attorney. The old attorney also has the option of filing a motion to withdraw as legal counsel with the bankruptcy court. The requirements for the information and signatures that need to be included in a motion to substitute attorney or a motion to withdraw may vary for each district. Speak with your new attorney to find out which documents need to be submitted to the court, and which documents you need to sign to notify the bankruptcy court of the attorney change.
- Check with the new attorney about if or when the bankruptcy court will approve the attorney change. If the bankruptcy court approves the substitution, the court docket will be updated with the name and contact information of the new attorney. Any documents or notices from the bankruptcy court, bankruptcy trustee and creditors will be forwarded to your new attorney from that point on.
What Is Legal Malpractice?
- Legal malpractice is a negligent tort claim. Torts is the area of the law that deals with injuries — physical, financial or emotional — to a plaintiff, or victim. All negligent tort claims are based on four basic elements — duty of care, breach of the duty of care, causation and damages. In a legal malpractice case, the plaintiff must show that the attorney breached her duty of care to the plaintiff. In an underlying bankruptcy case, the plaintiff will need to establish the standard of care required and then prove that the attorney breached that standard, or duty, of care.
- The plaintiff in a legal malpractice case must show that the damages she suffered are actually a direct result of something the attorney did, or failed to do, while representing her. In a bankruptcy case, for example, let’s say the plaintiff was required to relinquish her home to the court to pay her debts. If she would have lost her home regardless of anything the attorney did, then a minor mistake made by the attorney will not qualify as malpractice. On the other hand, if an attorney failed to claim an exemption on behalf of the plaintiff that would have allowed her to retain her home, then that might be considered causation for the purpose of a legal malpractice lawsuit.
- “Damages” is the legal term used to refer to monetary injuries sustained by the plaintiff. In a legal malpractice action against a bankruptcy attorney, the plaintiff will need to prove that he suffered an actual financial loss as a result of the attorney’s negligence, or malpractice. Simply showing negligence without any real financial loss will not work.
- In order to initiate a legal malpractice lawsuit against a bankruptcy attorney, a plaintiff should first be aware of the statute of limitations in the jurisdiction where the alleged malpractice occurred. Statutes of limitation will vary by state but may be as short as one year from the date of occurrence. A potential plaintiff who believes she has a viable malpractice claim should consult an attorney as soon as possible. A legal malpractice lawsuit is filed in the same manner as other civil lawsuit by filing a complaint against the attorney. If the plaintiff wins, he will be awarded a monetary judgment against the attorney.
There are a number of entry-level positions for employment in the banking industry. These positions range from bank teller to collections representative to safe deposit clerk, and most have annual compensation in the $15,000 to $30,000 range. While the number of management positions in the banking industry is shrinking due to the economy and a number of recent large mergers, the number of entry-level positions is expected to continue to grow over the next few years.
While some of these positions require some college or specialized training, most just require a high school diploma, good math skills, and a friendly personality and people skills. However, in today’s world, advancement to a management position in the banking industry almost always requires a college degree.
- A bank teller is the most common entry-level job at a bank, and generally only requires a high school education, basic computer skills, and a friendly attitude (especially as teller positions today are becoming more and more sales- and marketing-oriented). Teller positions are often relatively easy to get as the turnover rate tends to be high. With some exceptions, teller positions are usually paid hourly, with most tellers making $20,000 to $30,000 annually.
Other Customer-service Jobs
- A number of other specialized customer service positions are found in banks, such as personal and mortgage loan representatives, new account representatives and safe deposit clerks. These jobs are mainly customer service-oriented and usually do not require a college degree. Some of these positions do require a little more education or training, but there are often entry-level positions paying $20,000 to $40,000 are available.
- In most banks, there are almost as many support positions as there are customer-facing positions, which means that there are usually quite a few jobs like mortgage loan servicing clerks, collections representatives, accountants, information technology specialists, operations clerks, wire transfer clerks and fraud detection associates available. Many of these positions do require a college degree or specialized training, but the pay is commensurately higher in most cases, from $25,000 to $60,000.
Employment Prospects in the Banking Industry
- While banking industry jobs grew rapidly for several years up until 2008, and declined in 2009-2010, the industry is expected to begin a gradual recovery, and hiring (especially for entry-level positions) is predicted to increase over the next few years.
To be successful in financial services careers, individuals must be analytical, with a passion for breaking down figures and explaining them to their clients, colleagues and oftentimes, investors. Financial service careers can range from a customer service agent calling to collect on a past due bill to a chief financial officer who oversees spending and manages the profit center of a business.
Personal Financial Advisor
This type of career revolves around helping individuals create a financially sound future by offering tax, insurance and investment advice. This job requires the ability to network and market your services effectively to gain a larger clientele, since in many cases personal financial advisers have to find their own business leads.
Investment brokers work with buyers and sellers. They act as the middle man, as they help with the buying and selling of commodities among parties. They often work with private and public organizations. Their pay primarily comes from the commission they make on their deals.
Auditors work to assure that companies are adhering to compliance laws and regulations regarding the financial dealings of their company. They review everything from financial statements to client files, checking them thoroughly for accuracy.
Insurance agents offer protection options to consumers and businesses. They offer casualty, life, health, disability and long-term care insurance that provides coverage if an accident or emergency occurs. They work to advise their clients on way to reduce risks in their homes and at their businesses, which may help reduce insurance costs.
Using generally accepted accounting practices, accountants work with businesses and families to keep track of money spent and money earned. They ensure that financial documents are up-to-date and accurate. They are responsible for tax records and preparation.
Most financial consultants operate independently and run their own businesses. They are responsible for securing their clientele. They work with businesses and individuals in a combination of capacities. They may play the role of a financial adviser, insurance agent, auditor or analyst depending on the businesses’ needs, the consultant’s skill set and licensing.
Retail or Commercial Banker
Bankers work with businesses and individuals at small and large banks. They are responsible for building a relationship of trust with clients, handling financial transactions, reviewing accounts and suggesting new financial products to customers when applicable.
Financial analysts review and analyze financial statements for businesses so that they can make effective recommendations regarding investment decisions, investigate industry trends that can hurt and help the business, and project future earnings. They review sales, expenses and tax information to advise both large and small business owners.
Bill and Account Collector
Collectors contact customers to let them know a payment is past due and make payment arrangements where necessary. They work for organizations to collect receivables and update accounts.
The financial planning and analysis department within a corporation is responsible for preparing the annual plan and long-range or five-year plan. Financial planning and analysis professionals also prepare monthly, quarterly and annual management reports that compare actual results to forecasts. This department is a segment of the finance division of a company, and usually reports to the chief financial officer. The financial planning and analysis team also assists with the monthly accounting close, making certain journal entries are prepared correctly and on time.
Education and Training
- Financial analysts are expected to have, at minimum, a Bachelor of Science degree in finance or accounting. Having a Master of Business Administration degree is highly desirable, particularly for career advancement. Some companies require that analysts have a Certified Public Aaccountant designation to ensure they understand “Generally Accepted Accounting Principles” and apply these principles to the reports they prepare.
- Financial planning and analysis professionals must have a thorough understanding of advanced financial analysis techniques using spreadsheet software, as well as any specialized financial forecasting software their company may have. They must be able to design reports that present both actual and budget data in a concise manner for use by top management in decision making. They are required to communicate well, both orally and in writing, as they are asked to make presentations to upper management.
- Senior management depends on information and recommendations provided by the financial planning and analysis department to make critical decisions such as those regarding multimillion dollar capital expenditures and mergers and acquisitions. If the information the analysts supply is flawed, there can be significant negative financial consequences for the company as a whole. Success in this career depends on being able to interpret data and draw conclusions, not just to compile numbers.
- Finance planning and analysis can be a high-pressure career because, during the planning cycle, there are tight deadlines that must be met. The financial reports that analysts prepare can involve presenting negative news to senior executives, who may challenge the accuracy of their reports. They are often given special analysis projects, such as mergers and acquisitions, that must be completed under extremely tight time frames and often with insufficient or limited data.
- Because the financial planning and analysis expert interfaces with all departments of the company during the planning process, this career can be a learning experience to gain an understanding of how other departments, such as marketing or purchasing, are managed. This knowledge can help financial analysts advance into a senior management role later in their careers. It can also be a stepping stone to becoming chief financial officer of the company, because the financial planning and analysis department is heavily involved with the day-to-day operations of the accounting department. Financial planning and analysis professionals, even junior analysts, are asked to prepare reports or make presentation to top executives, so this career can help young professionals develop poise and self-confidence.
College graduates with a degree in finance are qualified to work in a variety of settings including businesses, consulting firms, investment firms and other financial institutions. A finance degree provides the accounting, economics and business skills that professionals need to begin their careers in some of the most popular finance jobs.
- Budget analysts play an important role in helping businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations put together, review, implement and monitor their budgets. They compile data to create annual budget reports that help managers find ways to reduce expenses and increase earnings.
Candidates must have good math, communication and computer skills. Entry-level positions are available for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree is often preferred.
Personal Financial Advisers
- Also known as financial consultants or planners, financial advisers help clients make investment decisions, plan their retirements and minimize their tax liability. Based on their client’s financial information and goals, they put together a plan to help them accomplish their objectives. They may also sell insurance policies, real estate, mutual funds or other types of investments if they obtain the proper licenses.
Financial advisers promote their services in a variety of ways in order to get clients. They must have good communication and sales skills to be successful.
- Auditors are responsible for checking the accuracy of a company’s financial records. They give organizations feedback about their bookkeeping policies and make suggestions about improving the efficiency of their accounting systems. They are employed as internal auditors that review the accounting records of their company or external auditors that provide their services to companies or government agencies as independent contractors.
A degree in finance with an emphasis in accounting will prepare graduates to work in this field. Meeting the education and experience requirements to become a certified public accountant (CPA) may also be required by some accounting firms.
- Insurance companies rely on underwriters to evaluate insurance applications in order to determine the risk of loss associated with issuing a life, health or property insurance policy. They are trained to use computer systems, databases and various reports to analyze insurance applications and establish an insurance premium for the policies they issue.
Good computer skills, judgment and some insurance experience are important in this field. Most insurance companies offer entry-level positions and training for qualified candidates. The Insurance Institute of America also offers continuing education courses and professional designations for underwriters.
- According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2009 salaries for these jobs vary depending on several factors including location, employer, experience level and additional training. Experienced budget analysts can make $93,080 or more per year. Personal financial advisers can make more than $114,260 a year not including the bonuses or sales commissions they may earn. Salaries for auditors can range from less than $34,470 to more than $94,050 a year. The average salary for insurance underwriters can range from $40,000 to $71,070 a year.
- Prepare a petition for bankruptcy. If you are proceeding without legal representation, obtain a bankruptcy petition form from the clerk of the bankruptcy court. Alternatively, you should be able to download the petition form (and related documents) from the bankruptcy court’s website.
- Fill out the matrix or index of creditors form. The matrix of creditors is a directory of all of the people or businesses you owe money. Include the attorney (or attorneys) that have open accounts for fees you did not pay. In addition to the name and address of the attorney, include the fee balance as well as any file, case or account number.
- File the petition, matrix of creditors and related documents with the clerk of the bankruptcy court. Shortly after filing your petition, the clerk will send to your creditors (including the lawyer or lawyers you owe fees) what is known as a proof of claim form. If the attorney wants to attempt to recover fees owed through your bankruptcy case, she submits the proof of claim form to the bankruptcy court.
- Attend the creditor’s meeting scheduled for your case. The creditor’s meeting is held before the bankruptcy trustee. At this session, the bankruptcy trustee questions you about your assets, debts and income. Creditors have the right to appear at the hearing to question you as well. Creditors are also able to lodge an initial objection to the bankruptcy itself if they have some facts to support that you are not entitled to bankruptcy relief. As a practical matter, creditors do not often appear at these proceedings.
- Develop a payment plan in conjunction with the bankruptcy trustee if you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Pursuant to a Chapter 13 plan, an attorney will receive a payment of at least some of the fees due and owing over the course of the lifetime of the payment plan (which normally is two to five years). A final discharge occurs at the conclusion of the payment plan.
- Appear in court for a Chapter 7 discharge hearing. The discharge hearing occurs approximately 120 to 180 days after the initial filing of the bankruptcy petition. Through a Chapter 7 case, you pay none of the fees previously due to the attorney who filed a claim. The discharge order permanently relieves you of this financial obligation.
Announcing a NEW Open Access Journal
Ticker: The Academic Business Librarianship Review
We are very excited to announce the launch of a new open-access journal: Ticker: The Academic Business Librarianship Review.
Published by the ABLD: The Academic Business Library Directors, Ticker is a forum for the exchange of the research, best practices, and innovative thinking in business librarianship and business library management.
The journal welcomes research articles, opinion pieces, member profiles, case studies, and conference reports reflecting all aspects of business librarianship.
Visit the Ticker website for author guidelines and more details.
Amber Lannon, McGill University
Jason Sokoloff, University of Washington
Michael Hemment, Harvard University
Angela Horne, University of California, Los Angeles
Laura Leavitt, Michigan State University
Corey Seeman, University of Michigan
Deb Wallace, Harvard University
A corporate finance analyst, or associate, uses business acumen and investment knowledge to review a firm's financial statements and recommend investment strategies to senior leadership. A corporate finance associate also reviews a company's liquidity (cash) levels and aids a company in selling shares of bonds and equity on securities exchanges.
- A corporate financial analyst evaluates a firm's operating data, compares current versus historical information and provides investment selection strategies to senior management. He also may detect liquidity trends by appraising a company's “working capital” ratio. This ratio measures a corporation's short-term cash availability and equals current assets minus current liabilities. A corporate finance associate also partners with investment bankers to help a firm raise cash on securities exchanges.
Education and Training
- Jobs in the corporate finance field typically require a business or finance background and a bachelor's degree at a minimum. A corporate finance analyst who has supervisory responsibilities or works for a large, multinational company may hold a master's of business administration (MBA) in finance or investment analysis. A corporate finance professional with prior public accounting experience may have a certified public accountant (CPA) license.
- A corporate finance analyst who holds an advanced degree, such as a master's or doctorate, in economics or investment analysis earns more than a colleague with a bachelor's degree. The company's size, industry and location also affect compensation levels. A corporate finance analyst's pay package may include wages as well as cash or stock bonuses. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that median annual wages for corporate financial analysts were $73,150 in 2008, excluding cash and stock bonuses, with the lowest 10 percent of the occupation earning less than $43,440 and the highest 10 percent earning more than $141,070. The same research shows that median annual wages for corporate financial managers were $99,330 in 2008, excluding cash and stock bonuses, with the middle 50 percent of the profession earning from $72,030 to $135,070.
- A corporate finance associate's chances of promotion depend on staffing needs and economic trends. However, she can improve her career growth opportunities by seeking a master's degree in investment analysis or a chartered financial analyst (CFA) certification. A corporate finance analyst who performs adequately may be promoted to a senior role, such as corporate finance manager, senior investment strategist or financial accounting supervisor, after three to five years.
- A corporate finance analyst works a standard 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. shift. If business conditions require a longer presence at the office, he may work late nights or early mornings. He also may telecommute and perform his tasks remotely from home on weekends. A senior corporate finance analyst travels periodically to meet domestic or international clients.
If you are seeking a banking job in Saudi Arabia banks, there are many ways can help you to land your dream job either you are living inside or outside Saudi Arabia. The main thing you need to do is to locate the vacancies.
- Start your search at Riyad Bank, the bank is considered one of the biggest banks in Saudi Arabia that provide various kinds of services such as corporate banking, business finance and business banking. Go to the bank website , where you can find a career page that lists all the openings.
- Contact Bank Al Jazira to inquire about their vacancies, the bank provides banking services in many cities in Saudi Arabia. Go to the head office in Khalid Bin Al Walid st., Jeddah to get more information about job opportunities.
- Check Al Rajhi Bank for the current vacancies, the bank always has up coming openings for fresh graduates, middle managers and experience professionals. You may not be able to locate posted or announced vacancies on the bank but you can submit your resume to their recruitment team and you might be considered for the related work opportunity.
- Research the banks that specialized in financing, if you have work experience in the investment and finance field. Try Saudi Investment Bank and Arab National Bank, which have many branches across Saudi Arabia. Write a presentable resume, that reflect your specialty in the finance operation and send it to the head of the department that relevant to your experience.
While outsourcing might cost some jobs in the American economy, it might not be the catastrophe some people believe. Outsourcing can help American businesses by reducing costs, as well as providing services to small businesses that might not otherwise afford them. Outsourcing can also enrich the overall global economy and generate enough profit for overseas countries to invest in American businesses.
- One way that outsourcing can help create new jobs is by lowering the costs the business spends on certain areas. For example, if a business can reduce manufacturing costs by 25% when it outsources manufacturing, it can use the money that it’s saved in costs to expand its sales force.
- Outsourcing creates jobs in small businesses. A small business might need a new computer programming system put into place, but can’t afford the cost of having a domestic programmer perform the task. The business outsources the job to an overseas provider, who is able to supply the business what is needed at a fraction of the cost. In turn, this new program enables the small business to operate more efficiently, which in turn allows it to reduce some of its operating costs. The reduction in operating costs gives the business enough extra money to hire some part-time help, thereby creating a new job within its infrastructure.
- One area that is sometimes overlooked in the debate over the merits of outsourcing is the job creation taking place overseas. When jobs are created by outsourcing to another country, those jobs impact the global economy. People who work outsourced overseas jobs are provided with a higher income than those who aren’t working. In turn, this allows them to buy products, including products exported from America. The more products exported, the more likely it is that American businesses will have to expand in order to keep up with increased global demand. The way that American businesses expand is by building new factories and hiring new employees, thereby creating new jobs.
- Jobs are also created from outsourcing when overseas companies invest in American businesses. Many of the jobs that are outsourced are customer service or tech support jobs. Countries like India are not manufacturing-heavy. This can lead to actually working cooperatively with American manufacturing in order to expand. Even countries like China, which has a strong manufacturing base, uses the money it makes from its outsourcing in order to buy and invest in American businesses and products.
- Choose the right credit counselor. The 2005 bankruptcy reform made it mandatory for all debtors to receive credit counseling before filing. Usually there’s a fee of about $75 to $100 for this service. Some, but not all, credit counselor’s offer a fee waiver for those who are truly unable to pay the fee. Taking advantage of such an opportunity; it is possible to meet the credit counseling requirement without shelling out any money. For a list of approved providers in your area see the Resources section below.
- Get a fee waiver from the court. The normal fee associated with filing bankruptcy is several hundred dollars, depending on where you file and which type of bankruptcy you file. But, most bankruptcy courts have some provision for those who truly cannot pay the waiver. Form 3B is the formal request for a fee waiver, which usually must be filed at the time of filing your bankruptcy petition.
- Prepare your petition yourself. The form you file to start the bankruptcy process is called the Voluntary Petition, Form B1. Along with the form, several detailed exhibits must be attached if they are relevant to your situation. Filling out these forms is usually where a lawyer can be helpful. If you are filing on your own, consult free bankruptcy books at your local library or the legal self-help services of your local courthouse or community.