Yes, you need a bankruptcy attorney to file for Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While you don’t HAVE to have legal representation, your chances in successfully obtaining a discharge of your debt on your own are very low. So low in fact, that the United States Courts HIGHLY recommend you obtain the services of a bankruptcy attorney. This is because filing for bankruptcy takes meticulous and careful planning and preparation, not to mention an in-depth knowledge of existing law. If you make even one minor mistake, your legal rights can be affected.
Why you need a Bankruptcy attorney
First and foremost, a bankruptcy attorney helps on a number of different avenues; they don’t simply push paper through the court system. A highly competent bankruptcy attorney will be able to tell you:
• Whether you should file in the first place or not
• Assist you in filling out and filing all the necessary forms
• Advise you on tax consequences of filing for bankruptcy
• Help you keep your property including automobiles and homes (if applicable)
• Interface with creditors on your behalf
• Counsel you throughout the entire bankruptcy process
Another important thing to note for individuals that want to try and file on their own is that you are truly on your own: Legally, court officials and workers, judges, and even petition preparers can’t offer any advice.
Individuals may be tempted to try and save money by filing on their own. Bankruptcy fees, while nominal, must be paid regardless. However, a competent bankruptcy attorney can help you file for a Chapter 7 fee waiver if you qualify, and many attorneys will allow for an installment plan when it comes to their legal fees. With the long lasting financial effects that a bankruptcy can have, it’s very important you don’t leave anything to chance by hiring a Dayton bankruptcy attorney.