Can I File My Own Bankruptcy?

We live in a day and age where DIY (Do-It-Yourself) advice seems to be everywhere.  From home renovations to incorporating a business, people are looking to save money by doing things without the assistance of a professional.  But where do you draw the line, and when does it make sense to enlist the help of a professional?

When it comes to bankruptcy, it is certainly understandable why someone would be interested in filing bankruptcy on their own.  Bankruptcy is usually the result of some form of financial difficulty and seeking the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney can be costly; doing it yourself can save you money.  After all, saving money is what DIY is all about.

We are often asked – “Can I file bankruptcy on my own?”  The answer is yes.  Individuals can file bankruptcy on their own, but in most circumstances, seeking the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney is the more prudent decision.

DIY mistakes could cost you time, money, or worse…

Keep in mind that the word “can” denotes the physical ability to do something, but it does not mean that just because you can file your own bankruptcy, that you should.  Many sources from the Internet and maybe even people that you know will tell you that filing bankruptcy is as simple as pulling a credit report and filing forms with the court.  The reality is that it is often times much more complicated than that.

For example – Do you know the difference between Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy for instance?  Each of these has their own set of very strict eligibility requirements and reporting obligations.  There are also benefits and drawbacks to each, particularly with regards to savings a home from foreclosure, which you might not know simply doing a web search for each.

Filing the wrong paperwork or failing to file under the correct Chapter can be a costly mistake, which can result in dismissal or conversion of your case, or creditors being left out of the filing altogether, which may result in them garnishing your wages.  If you miss a deadline, you are right back at square one with a new set of filing fees and all new documents.  Unfortunately, in these situations, the internet may not be able to help, and, in order to remedy the situation, you would likely need to employ the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney, which undermines your efforts to DIY to begin with.

The benefits of professional guidance

This time in your life is stressful enough and the last thing that you need is to be making multiple court appearances, paying filing fees, and not getting anywhere.  Many clients come to us after they have made one or more attempts to file their own bankruptcy case and accompanying documents, only to have them rejected by the court for various reasons.  In most situations, we can help remedy the mess.  Seeing as money is the reason why people file to begin with, this would be as good of a time as any to start savings yours, by meeting with a bankruptcy attorney and getting it right from the beginning.  Contact us today.