The Pros and Cons About Filing for Bankruptcy

June 28, 2011 by  Filed under: Bankruptcy 

If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, you might be wondering whether you should seek the assistance of a qualified bankruptcy attorney or whether you should file for bankruptcy without such legal help. This article will discuss the pros and cons related to each so that you are able to make a wise and informed decision.

In the U.S., you can file for bankruptcy without a bankruptcy lawyer regardless of what state you live in. This is also called “filing pro se”. If you do not own a lot of assets and your financial situation is relatively straightforward, it may seem like a good idea to file for bankruptcy without legal help. There are numerous websites that are geared towards answering many bankruptcy related questions. If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy on your own, however, please be cautious when searching different websites online because not all websites have the most accurate information on bankruptcy and they can lead you in the wrong direction.

In addition, while you may be saving some money in filing for bankruptcy alone, there are potentially many mistakes that can occur that can cost you a lot more in the long run. The biggest con of filing for bankruptcy by yourself is this potential for mistakes such as forgetting to put a creditor on your paperwork or missing any deadlines. This can be a big problem because the court cannot accurately process your bankruptcy filing if important information is missing. This can translate into delays and could possibly even mean instant dismissal of your bankruptcy case by the court. In many cases, therefore, attorney’s fees might be worth the extra expense just to ensure that your bankruptcy process runs smoothly and that you are aware of any pitfalls before filing and during your bankruptcy proceeding. There is nothing better than peace of mind in an already stressful time of your life. Also, if you are planning to file for bankruptcy on your own, you must be aware that you will need to familiarize yourself with the many bankruptcy procedures, rules and exemptions for your state which have become slightly more complicated due to the recent changes in bankruptcy law in the United States. This means that you need to have the necessary time and energy in order to understand what needs to be done.

Some advantages to getting a bankruptcy attorney include getting sound legal advice and help so that you can make the right decision and avoid any possible hazards. This will eliminate many possible errors and mistakes that you are susceptible too if filing for bankruptcy alone. Also, some 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. As mentioned briefly above, bankruptcy laws have changed drastically in the last several years and will likely continue to change. Thus, if you are not on top of new legislative changes you might be at a serious disadvantage. I recommend that your first step should be to set up a consultation with a local qualified bankruptcy in your area so that you can at least have a better idea as to what you should do and to see if filing for bankruptcy is even an option you should choose. Many law firms have free initial consultations so it really will not hurt for you to make an appointment to go see one.

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