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Can I File Bankruptcy Without a Lawyer?


“Do It Yourself” or DIY projects have become very popular lately. While this may be a good idea for painting a room or tiling the floor, it is not wise to attempt the practice of law on your own. Although the law does allow you to represent yourself in a legal action, including filing for bankruptcy protection, most pro se debtors are not successful.

There are many DIY books and websites that claim they can walk you through your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing, but the majority of them only provide basic and general guidance. They do not address matters specific to your jurisdiction or how to handle issues when they arise in your case.

The legal system can be confusing and tough to navigate without the appropriate training and experience. There are a wide variety of rules, procedures and deadlines that you must follow and if you are not aware of them, you can create a big mess in your case. Typically, the result is that you spend significantly more time and money that you have spent by hiring an attorney to assist you in the first place.

When you work with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, you will have the advantage of creating a specific strategy for when and how you should file. The timing of filing your case can be very important. Thus, having an attorney review your individual finances and anticipate any issues that may arise in your filing can help you deal with those matters before they blow-up into major problems.

Finally, working with a bankruptcy attorney can help ensure that your filing is handled correctly the first time. Your lawyer will help you include all of your debt, file the appropriate financial disclosures, claim the proper exemptions to protect assets, and obtain your discharge in a timely manner. Once you have discharged or eliminated the majority (if not all) of your debt, you will most likely consider the small fee you paid your lawyer worth every single penny!

If you are considering filing a bankruptcy and you need help determining which type of filing would be best for you, contact Fitzgerald & Campbell to schedule an appointment. We do not offer just one debt relief option, we don’t push you in one direction. If bankruptcy right for you, we will tell you. If it’s not, we will tell you that. If bankruptcy is your get out of debt plan, it needs to be done right. It needs to be in the hands of experienced lawyers who have been there before. Contact us today!

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