Do I really need a lawyer to file for bankruptcy?

March 1, 2012

In this difficult economy gathering the funds to hire an attorney can be a tough thing to do.  However, trying to file your own bankruptcy is like trying to remove your own appendix.

Before you consider filing your own bankruptcy you should ask yourself the following questions:

  •  What exemption laws apply to me?
  • Do I understand my district’s document production requirements?
  • Am I familiar with the issues surrounding reaffirming debt?
  • What happens if I discover a mistake on my petition after my case is filed?
  • What will be expected of me at court?
  • Do I thoroughly understand the various chapters of bankruptcy and the relief that is available under each?
  • Do I understand the role of the trustee and the Office of the United States Trustee?

If you cannot answer each of the above questions with “Yes”, you should not even consider trying to represent yourself.

Each year I am contacted by people who thought they could handle this process themself.  Instead the mess they created costs them more to fix than if they had just paid an attorney to do it right the first time.  In some cases the mistakes cannot be fixed.  A mistake in bankruptcy can cost someone a home or a car that they had hoped to keep.

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