When filing for bankruptcy, you can either hire a lawyer for help or do it on your own. People who file without a lawyer typically do this just to save money. Filing alone will be cheaper, because you will not have to pay an attorney for his or her services; however, filing alone can result in some problems. Here are several problems you might encounter if you file alone.
You might file the wrong chapter
There are major differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. If you do not fully understand these differences and end up filing the wrong one, it could result in problems. One problem this can create is having to repay debts you would not have had to repay.
In addition, to find out which branch you qualify for, you will need to complete a means test. If you do not complete the test properly, you might wind up choosing the wrong branch of bankruptcy, simply because the test revealed that you had to choose that option.
With the help of an attorney, you will not only find out if bankruptcy is right for you, but you will also learn which branch will be right for your situation.
You might lose assets you should have been able to keeps
A second problem you can encounter is having to give up assets that you should have been able to keep, and this typically results from filing the wrong branch of bankruptcy. It can also result from not knowing what assets you can exempt from the bankruptcy. If you fail to get an exempt status for an asset, the trustee can seize the item.
The trustee might dismiss your case
The other issue you could encounter is having your case dismissed. If you fail to file all the bankruptcy paperwork that is needed, the trustee has the right to dismiss your case. If this happens, you will lose the filing fees you paid, and you will have to pay them again if you decide to refile. With a bankruptcy lawyer assisting you, the chances of the trustee dismissing your case are very slim.
If you still decide that filing on your own is best for you, you will need to fill out all the necessary documents. If you would prefer to avoid the problems listed here, you will be better off hiring a bankruptcy lawyer (the offices of O'Connor Mikita & Davidson LLC are a good start) to assist you.Share