In an attempt to save money, many people ask: Can I file for bankruptcy myself without legal representation? The answer is that while you are legally entitled to file for bankruptcy on your own, there are a number of potential risks you can avoid with professional assistance.
The DIY bankruptcy filing process is referred to as filing pro se ("for oneself"). While you have the right to file bankruptcy on your own, bankruptcy courts tend to strongly advise against this course of action.
The process of filing for bankruptcy can be very complicated:
When you file for bankruptcy, in Wisconsin there are countless hoops to jump through:
If you choose to file bankruptcy on your own, without the guidance of a Milwaukee bankruptcy attorney, you risk losing valuable assets which you may otherwise have been able to keep.
You may also be required to pay certain debts, which your local bankruptcy attorney could have helped you to avoid. If you fail to properly file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy you may be forced to file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy instead, which would require you to make payments for the next three to five years.
Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is even more complicated and labor intensive than filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
The success rate for pro se bankruptcy filing is remarkably poor for those filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy on their own. Individuals who choose to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy on their own rarely succeed.
It is common for many DIY bankruptcy filers to get partially through the process only to realize how very complicated and difficult filing for bankruptcy is. Many pro se filers attempt the process two or three times before they hire an attorney to represent them.
Why waste precious time and resources on a difficult task with serious financial implications?
When filing for bankruptcy pro se, many individuals choose to hire a bankruptcy petition preparer, also known as a BPP. Unfortunately, bankruptcy petition preparers don't improve your bankruptcy filing success.
BPPs are not lawyers. In fact, they’re not even paralegals. They’re simply typists who are supposed to prepare your forms and are not allowed to give legal advice. What may seem like a cheap form of assistance can often cause much more trouble than it is worth.
Don't risk losing your most valuable assets. Get professional legal advice for your bankruptcy case and get a fresh start.
An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you by:
Most people are simply not comfortable doing this. Don’t risk that your bankruptcy petition will be dismissed, or delayed.
It’s in your best interest to have our local bankruptcy attorney prepare your case, walk you through the entire process and present your case to the bankruptcy court.
Focusing only on Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Wisconsin, Milwaukee area attorney Steven R. McDonald has a nuanced understanding of the laws, qualifications and issues to help individuals with faster filing.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.Return to Related News