760-523-9090

I Help Good People Solve Their Debt Problems

Need to hire an attorney to file bankruptcyI can understand people not wanting to hire an attorney to file their bankruptcy.

It’s relatively easy to search the internet and find legal self-help services that make filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy seem like a slam dunk. Yet, according to a study done by the US Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California this is far from true. Roughly 40% of Chapter 7 bankruptcy cased filed without a lawyer were dismissed without a discharge of debt. The same study showed that those Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases filed with a lawyer were only a 5.4% dismissal rate.

I understand your desire to save some money by preparing your own bankruptcy documents to file with the court. However, you should realize that your chances of success are far greater with the assistance of a lawyer.

The normal Chapter 7 bankruptcy case consists of no less than 60 to 70-plus pages. You’re required to list your assets, liabilities, current income and monthly budget. You’re required to answer detailed questions about your financial affairs for the past several years. Most people without a legal background are probably not up to this task.

Here are just a few of the complicated issues that arise in every bankruptcy case:

Means Test Analysis – The Bankruptcy Code requires every debtor to prepare and submit an detailed analysis of his/her family income during the six month period prior to filing. The purpose of this analysis is to determine whether you have enough “disposable income” to pay creditors back in a Chapter 13, or if you qualify for Chapter 7. The means test analysis requires you to use IRS tables of approved monthly expenses and median income tables for various family sizes that is prepared by the United States Trustee’s office.

For more information, Read This >

Amendments To Petition – Frequently you will face objections or requests for additional information in your Chapter 7 case. These requests will come in the form of official looking pleadings that will be served on you. If you are proceeding without counsel, you may not know how to respond to these pleadings or where to submit your response.

Bankruptcy Procedure Requirements – In addition to the official pleadings, every individual bankruptcy debtor must submit additional paperwork, including

          • Credit counseling certificates
          • Financial management course certificates
          • Pay stubs (with Social Security numbers blacked out)
          • Federal and state tax returns
          • Photo copies of your drivers license and Social Security card

Some of these documents are to be mailed, and some are to be emailed. And if you mail a document that should have been emailed . . . well, you’re out of luck. Would you know where and how to submit these documents if you are proceeding without counsel?

Bankruptcy paperwork is complicated and mistakes in preparing and filing your petition and subsequent pleadings can haunt you for years to come. More importantly, you may not receive all of the benefits that bankruptcy can and should provide you.

I could tell you about so many horror stories I have witnessed in meeting of creditors. These were just good, common folks trying to save some money. They didn’t want to hire an attorney.

    • I’ve seen several people lose their home because of mistakes that 5 minutes with a lawyer would have warned them about.
    • I’ve seen others lose property that could have been saved by proper planning with a bankruptcy lawyer.
    • And I’ve saved the best one for last. I saw a personal injury attorney who thought he could file his own bankruptcy case. He lost his wife’s new Mercedes Benz. (I’ll bet she still isn’t speaking to him to this very day!)

These people didn’t save a dime; they lost their property and their life’s dreams because of their own foolishness. You can’t afford to be wrong on these issues.

So, if you are tempted to file bankruptcy on your own or with a non-attorney document preparer, please take a minute and call me first. To hire an attorney might just be the cheapest and wisest thing you could do!

Perhaps you have some questions. You can reach my by phone at 760-523-9090. Or just click on the ORANGE “Contact Me” button at the top of your screen. I’ll contact you back and make arrangements to meet with you.

Talk with me. I’ll treat you like a friend.

 

For more information, Read This >

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