Legally, you do not have to have an attorney help you file for bankruptcy. You can complete all the paperwork, notifications, meetings with trustees, and all other steps in the process on your own.

But, just because you can does not mean you should. Bankruptcy is a complicated process. Bankruptcy laws are numerous and can apply in different ways, depending on each person’s financial situation. Many things could go wrong with your bankruptcy claim if you do not have the necessary knowledge.

Three good reasons you should not try to file for bankruptcy on your own are:

1. You Could File for the Wrong Type of Bankruptcy

Most consumer debtors file either for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Each type of bankruptcy has different standards of qualification and they each treat debt and property differently. No one type is better than the other. They each have benefits and drawbacks. Which type of bankruptcy an individual should file, depends upon their individual financial circumstances. Filing for the wrong chapter may lead to unnecessary loss of property or failure to discharge certain debts. Not understanding both types of bankruptcy and how they apply to your financial situation could do you more harm than good.

2. You Could Not Claim the Right Property Exemptions

Property exemptions are very important when filing for bankruptcy. Each state has laws governing what types of property are exempt and the exempt value. To claim the right exemptions for your financial needs requires extensive knowledge about:

  • how bankruptcy exemptions work
  • which bankruptcy exemption system you must use
  • what property exemptions apply to you
  • what property exemption is in your best interest

Making a mistake in this part of bankruptcy could cause you to lose property

3. You Could Not Know How to Dispute Creditor Counterclaims

All creditors in a bankruptcy claim have the right to dispute the debtor’s ability to discharge all the debt the debtor owes them. They can file a counterclaim with the bankruptcy court to stop the bankruptcy and get their money from you. You would need to fully understand the bankruptcy laws to defend against the action. A lack of adequate defense could cause the bankruptcy trustee to approve the creditor’s counterclaim and force you to pay the debt.

Getting the Help You Need

It may first seem beneficial to file for bankruptcy on your own. But, the complexities of your bankruptcy case could soon prove more than you can handle. Lack of knowledge about bankruptcy laws and how they should apply to your financial situation might end up causing even more harm.

You do not have to go it alone. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your financial situation. Let us use our years of experience to help you through the bankruptcy process. Let our family help your family.