Yes, you can file for bankruptcy without an attorney, but is that something you really want to do? You have probably heard the old proverb, “He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.” While this saying can come across as a bit rude and harsh, it has stood the test of time because it is true. A bankruptcy has far-reaching financial and legal consequences. Only an experienced and qualified attorney has the knowledge and skills that can protect you.
If you file for bankruptcy without an attorney, there are non-attorney petition preparer services. Regardless, these petition preparers can only help you add information on forms. They are forbidden by law to provide legal advice, answer legal questions, or aid you in court. A non-attorney petition preparer must sign all documents they prepare for you, adding their information as preparer, and they may not sign your name on documents on your behalf.
A bankruptcy requires a lot of preparation and an intricate knowledge of legal issues. Those who represent themselves are expected to know and follow all court rules and procedures. Moreover, under the law, bankruptcy judges and court employees cannot hand out legal advice. If you make a mistake, or misunderstand the law, it can impact your rights.
Why You Should Use a Bankruptcy Attorney
- They can advise you if bankruptcy is the best option.
- A bankruptcy attorney will advise you which chapter to file.
- They can advise which debts can and cannot be discharged.
- A qualified attorney can inform you if you can keep our home, car, or other property.
- They will notify you of the tax consequences when filing.
- A bankruptcy attorney will advise you if you should continue paying debts.
- They will explain bankruptcy law and legal procedures to you.
- A qualified attorney can inform you if your case has any risks or difficulties.
- They will ensure the timely filing of all required paperwork.
- A bankruptcy attorney will represent you at the bankruptcy hearing.
What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about filing for bankruptcy without an attorney, or need more information, please contact us.