Consumers have the option of filing for bankruptcy on their own, also known as “pro se,” in which you represent yourself. You are not required by law to file bankruptcy with an attorney, but many do not understand the risk they take upon themselves when considering the process without guidance of an experienced attorney. For instance, many are unaware of how complex the filing process is, or have little understanding in how to navigate through the court system.
There are a variety of reasons why consumers should consult with a bankruptcy attorney. Many feel they are saving money by completing the process on their own. But, if the paperwork is not completed correctly or in an orderly manner, you run the risk of having your case get dismissed before it obtains a full review by the court. If all schedules are not completed in full or are missing, your case can get dismissed. All information about your finances, income, debt, and assets should be included. If documentation is not completed properly or you try to conceal details, your assets may not have full protection from creditors. They may seize items of value to satisfy outstanding claims against you.
What about third party companies that claim they can fill out documentation for you? They just collect a fee from you to fill out the paperwork for you. This can also be risky since they cannot provide legal advice, represent you in bankruptcy court, or even explain paperwork information in thorough detail for you to understand.
In short, it is best to seek counsel with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who specializes in this area of law. You may end up losing money, assets, ability to discharge debts, or get your case dismissed if the filing isn’t completed correctly.
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