Kansas Petition Preparer Guidelines

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If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Kansas without a lawyer, you might be tempted to at least use the help of a petition preparer. This type of professional is not a lawyer, and is not even well versed in bankruptcy law. The job of a petition preparer is to type up the documents you need when you file, for the price of not more than $150. If the petition preparer you talk to is requesting more than this amount, or is asking you to pay him or her the court fees, choose a different professional since this counts as breaking the bankruptcy laws. You are supposed to pay the court fees to the clerk of court separately, so the $150 cost of a petition preparer is not the only expense you will pay during the process of discharging debts. Find out what else to expect from a petition preparer in Kansas.

Responsibilities of a Petition Preparer

The sole duty of a petition preparer in Kansas is to prepare the documents you need for bankruptcy, under your direction. This means you must know which documents the court requires, so you may need to look up the information or get legal advice from an attorney. Hiring a petition preparer is usually only advised if you lack either time or a computer to type up the paperwork.

If you have no idea which paperwork to file and don't want to perform research, hiring a lawyer is recommended. If you have lots of knowledge of the law and plenty of time to prepare your own documents, you may not need a petition preparer or a lawyer.

What a Petition Preparer Cannot Do

A petition preparer cannot give legal advice, which is good because few are as knowledgeable about current bankruptcy laws as attorneys. Your Kansas petition preparer cannot tell you whether bankruptcy is a good move for you, or which chapter is the best. Petition preparers in Kansas and any other state are also barred from telling you what to write on the documents, how to appeal an objection of discharge or how to keep a home during the process.

If you have questions about the exemptions that apply to you, the assets you can keep or the debts that will be discharged, refrain from asking your petition preparer because you will not get an answer. For that matter, do not ask about what happens to liens or taxes, or whether you should redeem property or reaffirm certain debts. Not only will the petition preparer likely not know the answer, but he or she is not allowed to reply without breaching the bankruptcy regulations.

Consider Hiring an Attorney

If you need legal help, hiring a petition preparer is not the way to go since most with this job title are simply there to type up documents. Do not expect to get good legal advice from them. Schedule a consultation with a lawyer to get your legal questions answered accurately.