Many people question whether they should save money by filing their own bankruptcy case or hiring a petition preparer or other online source that puts the forms together. Bankruptcy is a federal court case that can have long term implications on a person’s credit, finances, and their life in general. People pay for health insurance and pay to see a doctor when anything might affect their health long term, yet they fail to seek expert advice when it comes to their financial health.
Many of our cases come from people who did their case on their own and now have to pay significant fees for us to correct what was done improperly in the first place. The bankruptcy code is a complex set of laws and procedural rules, many that vary by court location with local rules. Many petition preparers do not have access to the local forms that need to be filed. Petition preparers or doing it yourself does not give you the proper guidance and legal review of which bankruptcy case is best for you, how to prepare for bankruptcy, how to list assets and debts, how to go through the process, which exemptions to claim, how to save your home or other assets, and how to minimize the long term impacts. If you fail to properly file the required forms, including required local forms, the court can dismiss your case. At that point, you would have to pay the filing fee again to refile and have lost weeks or months that your case could have been moving forward.
If you fail to list a debt, you can still have liability for it after the case. Our firm runs checks to be sure we are aware of all debt that may be out there, even some that you may have forgotten about or didn’t even know was there.
Bottom line, be sure to investigate all the possible consequences before deciding to do your own bankruptcy. It may sound better to save the money and not get expert advice, but realize that you are eliminating all kinds of debt, so paying a little up front to be sure you are protected and getting rid of hundreds or thousands of dollars a month in payments can be worth the investment.
For more information, go to our website or call for a free consultation 888-881-6591.