Do Bankruptcy Filers Need a Lawyer?

If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, you may be tempted to file your bankruptcy petition on your own. This is an understandable temptation, given that your need to file for bankruptcy indicates that your finances have become unmanageable. However, it’s important to think carefully before moving forward with a bankruptcy process on your own. Depending on the type of bankruptcy you’re filing, you may need a bankruptcy lawyer, such as from Chorches Bankruptcy Law, to help you navigate the preparation, submission, and defense of your petition successfully.

Assistance with Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a process that is so complex and so consequential that it is generally inadvisable to attempt filing this form of bankruptcy without an attorney’s guidance. Statistics show that the vast majority of Chapter 13 bankruptcy petitions submitted and defended by self-filers fail. Failing the bankruptcy process will likely leave you in a far, far worse financial position than you are already in. As a result, you should refrain from filing this type of petition without help. Thankfully, you won’t need to panic about legal fees in the event that you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Most of your legal fees can be treated as “debt” for the purposes of this bankruptcy chapter. Meaning, that you’ll pay your legal fees over the life of your bankruptcy case using funds that would have been sent to other creditors regardless.

By contrast, if you don’t earn much money and your financial situation is very straightforward, it is conceivable that you could successfully file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition on your own. The courts try to keep this process straightforward, as some low-income filers can’t afford to put a single penny towards legal fees. With that said, it is still a good idea to invest a very minimal amount of resources to ensuring that an attorney can represent your interests during the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. If you own any valuable property, you could be risking the sale of that property by your trustee. Similarly, failing to properly prepare your petition could result in a rejection or delay of your case. In general, it’s a good idea to work with an attorney no matter what type of bankruptcy you’re filing.

Legal Assistance Is Available

If you have not yet scheduled a consultation with a law firm (with “no strings attached”) please do so now. Meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer will allow you to ask questions about both the bankruptcy process and the process of having your interests represented by a law firm during your bankruptcy case. If, after you meet you decide to allow a lawyer to represent your bankruptcy case, they will work to build the strongest case possible on your behalf. If, after you meet with a lawyer, you choose to represent yourself, they will wish you well and will not pressure you into making an alternative decision. As long as they have provided you with the information you need to make an informed decision, their job – in the consultation phase of representation – will be complete. Contact a law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.