Filing for Bankruptcy without Legal Representation

Related Ads

Some people do not believe they need attorneys for legal matters. They either think that attorneys cost too much money or that their case is not as complicated as someone elses. Another big problem is the cost of legal services for particular matters. Bankruptcy is no exception.

In fact, since bankruptcy laws were changed, it is more expensive and difficult to file for bankruptcy if you cannot afford an attorney. However, that does not mean it can't be done.

Filing a Bankruptcy Pro Se

To bring legal action without an attorney is known as filing pro se. There is no law against handling your own bankruptcy case without legal counsel. If you have the filing fees, take a means test, participate in credit counseling and submit your paperwork in the proper manner, the court will take your case. Most courts have specific rules about the proper layout, margins and formatting of legal paperwork as well as forms that you may need to fill out.

You should go to the federal court for your state to find the proper forum for your bankruptcy case. If you need help completing the means test or finding someplace to get the required credit counseling, contact the court and someone should be able to direct you to the proper resources. Keep in mind that if you do not complete the required means test as well as mandatory credit counseling, your bankruptcy will not be filed.

The Problems of Filing Without an Attorney

There are many good reasons that people generally do not attempt a bankruptcy case alone. First, creditors may try to take advantage of you if you are appearing pro se. They may continue to contact you even after the bankruptcy has been filed because they presume you do not have the money to pursue litigation against them.

Second, bankruptcy laws have changed and will likely continue to change. New legislation may place you at an even greater disadvantage if you aren't up-to-date on procedures and rules.

Finally, it is very easy to make mistakes and errors if you are not an attorney. Some of these errors may cause your case to get thrown out, and you will have to spend more money refiling the bankruptcy.

Talk to a Lawyer First

While you can file for bankruptcy without a lawyer, you may find legal services worth their fee. At the very lease, you should consider talking to a bankruptcy lawyer first to ensure that bankruptcy is right for you.