Can You File a Bankruptcy without an Attorney?

don't file bankruptcy without an attorney

You require an in-depth understanding and careful preparation when you file personal bankruptcy under Chapter 13 or Chapter 7. However, you may affect your rights by making mistakes and misunderstandings of the law. And you won’t get any legal advice from bankruptcy judges and court employees since they are prohibited from offering any information. Your attorney can help you with some of these ways when you have one representing you:

  • Assist you with several aspects of your bankruptcy case
  • Help you complete and file forms
  • Explain bankruptcy law and procedures to you
  • Counsel whether or not to stop paying creditors
  • Guide you on the tax consequences of filing
  • Recommend if you can keep your car, home, or other property after you file for bankruptcy
  • Counsel on if they can discharge your debts
  • Advise you under which chapter to file
  • You get help on the possibility of a bankruptcy petition

Apart from being familiar with the court’s local rules, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy, and the United States Bankruptcy Code, pro se litigants must follow the rules and procedures in federal courts. As it is available at the local court’s intake counter, local regulations are posted on the court’s website and other essential information. You can get the bankruptcy forms free of charge, and you can use them for some purposes, including:

  • Using numbered forms in the 100 series for sole proprietors
  • If you are filing a bankruptcy for a non-individual like Limited Liability Company, LLC, partnership, or a corporation, use those numbered in the 200 series.
  • File bankruptcy for married couples or individuals utilizing numbered forms in the 100 series.

There can be a requirement of local forms from many courts. Before you file any documents, it is vital to check your court’s website.

Non-Attorney Petition Preparers

Non-attorney Petition preparers may offer you services if you file bankruptcy pro se. According to law, entering information into forms is the duty of the preparers. Preparers are prohibited from assisting you in bankruptcy court, explaining answers to legal questions, or providing legal advice. A petition preparer needs to prepare signed documents for you, and the materials must contain their social security and address before printing them. They are also required to provide you a copy of all documents. However, petition preparers cannot receive payment for court fees or sign documents on your behalf. 

Bankruptcy Lawyer in West Covina Can Help

Filing a bankruptcy can be a difficult decision. However, you can obtain a fresh start as you make the most of your opportunities under bankruptcy law with the help of an experienced and efficient bankruptcy attorney from Hedtke Law Group. They will work to ensure you get the best representation possible by guiding you through the process. Hedtke offers a free consultation when you contact them today.