When You Should Not File Bankruptcy on Your Own

Filing Bankruptcy on Your Own

Debtors considering filing bankruptcy on their own may think it can help them save money. While you may be able to file on your own, there are certain situations where it is best to have legal representation.  Most debtors choose to work with a bankruptcy attorney when they realize how complex their situation is.

A simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy case could be filed by the debtor on their own if they understand the rules and regulations under the bankruptcy code.  This is crucial in obtaining a discharge from debts successfully.  A simple case may be a situation in which you have little or no assets, no priority debts or allegations of fraud against you by creditors.  There are exemption laws, local rules and procedures you need to do extensive research on if you are considering filing on your own.

On the other hand, there are situations in which it would be considered a bad idea to file bankruptcy on your own.  If you want to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection it’s best to work with a legal expert. Chapter 13 cases can be complex, especially if you are using it to reestablish secured debt such as a mortgage or vehicle loan. The same is true if you are looking to have a second or third mortgage stripped or removed.

Complex Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases should be filed with a qualified bankruptcy attorney.  In this situation a debtor may have income higher than the median amount required by the state. Or the debtor may have a significant amount of debt or business related debt.

If you are uncomfortable with the idea of filing on your own you should work with an experienced professional.  Some debtors are easily intimidated by the process or don’t want to complete paperwork associated.