With the collection of general financial information available online growing on a daily basis, many individuals who may be considering bankruptcy think they know enough about filing bankruptcy online without retaining an attorney oversee their filing. While the basic concepts of bankruptcy law are fairly straight forward, and an individual is not prohibited from filing bankruptcy without an attorney, this is not a time to go at it alone.
Do not take the filing of a petition in bankruptcy lightly. These are your financial affairs and your property that you are trying to protect. If you go to Bankruptcy Court and represent yourself, the Trustee and the Judge will presume that you have the knowledge and experience of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. There is no margin for error. Any misstatement in the filing process could have a major impact the overall outcome of your bankruptcy case, as the bankruptcy law and rules of procedure, especially those that have been in effect since 2005, are sometimes difficult to interpret.
If you are filing personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 it is important to keep in mind that the major credit card institutions were the ones who were successful in lobbying their position with the U.S. Congress, resulting in the present law. This means that consumers who opt to file for Chapter 7 protection, may experience obstacles they might not know how to conquer alone.
The present bankruptcy law uses terms like “consumer protection,” yet it does not provide any real assistance to debtors who choose to file for bankruptcy protection on their own. When a bankruptcy petition is filed with the Court, these documents are filed under the penalty of perjury. If it is without the assistance of a qualified bankruptcy attorney and information provided is scheduled incorrectly, or any critical information is omitted, you will have no one to turn to for help.
Last, I understand that money is a concern right now for everyone, especially someone buried in credit card debt. Do not be afraid to ask questions about fees, in particular, whether payment terms are available. Some paralegal services charge a minimal fee to prepare and file the necessary paperwork to file a bankruptcy petition. It has been my experience that the risk is simply not worth the small savings. Many attorneys are willing to take your case for a similar fee than which may be offered by a non-attorney. Retaining the services of a professional to protect your property is serious business. You should be confident with your final choice. I offer a free consultation to all new clients, so you have nothing to lose and a fresh start to gain. Contact an experienced bankruptcy lawyer today – you will be glad you did.