Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Bankruptcy?
What happens if you file for bankruptcy without an attorney? Is it possible? Advisable? Below are several related questions that will hopefully address your queries and concerns.
Can I file for bankruptcy without an attorney?
Yes, it is possible to file for bankruptcy on your own. This would be a "pro se" bankruptcy filing, one where it falls entirely to you to conduct thorough research, and ideally, this also means you have hours of spare time on your hands. A pro se bankruptcy can be extremely tricky to pull off in any case, but Chapter 13 bankruptcy is particularly difficult to file for on your own.
What are the cons of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy without an attorney?
In any case, filing on your own would be a stressful, uncertain process that would cost you a great deal in time. Any slipups could ruin your case. Furthermore, it is an absolutely terrible idea to go solo if you own a business, have an income that is higher than the state median, could lose certain property in the bankruptcy, or have been charged with fraud by your creditors. With so much at stake, and so many complex laws at play, it would be in your best interests to retain a bankruptcy lawyer.
What are the cons of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy without an attorney?
This is a far greater legal challenge than is Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In fact, this type of bankruptcy is so complex that some bankruptcy lawyers only take on Chapter 7 bankruptcies because they feel inadequate to tackle the Chapter 13 process. And if you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy on your own, statistically speaking, your case is probably going to get dismissed by a bankruptcy court.
If for any reason you are nervous about wading into this complicated legal process on your own, it would be wise to work with a legal professional who can ensure that you are taking the right steps to achieve a debt-free future.
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