Self Filing Bankruptcy
While it may seem that self filing for bankruptcy can save someone the money that it takes to hire a bankruptcy attorney, some are finding that the hazards of filing on their own can prove costly as well.
Since the new bankruptcy laws took effect in 2005, it has been more difficult to determine if you qualify for bankruptcy. The requirements to file have gotten more demanding, and more and more those who try to self-file are finding that they have overlooked a particular detail or failed to spot an important caveat of their bankruptcy case. Such mistakes can cost a potential bankruptcy filer not only valuable time and effort, but it can also lead to penalties that could severely hamper an attempt to file for bankruptcy.
The web site for the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts has even declared that "while individuals can file a bankruptcy case without an attorney or 'pro se,' it is extremely difficult to do it successfully."
You probably hope to avoid such mistakes. If you'd like to talk to one of our sponsoring bankruptcy attorneys about your case, please fill out the form below. You can connect with a bankruptcy lawyer in your area today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
Bankruptcy Filing Without an Attorney Could be a Risk
The U.S. Bankruptcy Courts web site is clear about filing for bankruptcy without a lawyer. They warn that bankruptcy cases are complex, with a series of technical details and requirements that must be met. If they are not met, and if an individual is denied a bankruptcy because of a technicality, then they could lose some of the benefits of bankruptcy, or even the right to file for bankruptcy in the future. Such a penalty could result if something as simple as the requirement for a credit counseling certificate is overlooked.
In language that doesn't get much more clear, the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts web site states, in bold print: "bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences - hiring a competent attorney is strongly recommended."
Self Filing for Bankruptcy: A Case Study in Brooklyn
In one community in Brooklyn, the bankruptcy court hired a special clerk, Mary Fox, to deal with the high number of people who arrived at bankruptcy court to file for bankruptcy protection on their own. Fox told a local news outlet that she spent much of her time convincing these pro se filers to find an attorney, even if they had to borrow money to do so. She wasn't allowed to provide legal advice, only to tell people what information they needed to provide.
"People will pay thousands of dollars for a root canal," she told a reporter, "but they seriously question whether they should hire an attorney for important, life-altering decisions."
A Bankruptcy Attorney Might Be What You Are Looking For
From an overlooked debt that doesn't get discharged, to a misfiled form, the perils of filing for bankruptcy on your own are well-documented. If you'd like to refer to a professional, you may want to talk to one of our sponsoring bankruptcy attorneys, who could be the resource to help you effectively navigate a bankruptcy filing.
Simply fill out the form below to arrange a free case evaluation with a lawyer in your area. You can arrange a no-obligation initial consultation today.