On Your Own: Can You File a Bankruptcy Without a Lawyer and Is This a Good Idea?

Bankruptcy law does not oblige you to hire a lawyer to file your bankruptcy relief. The good news now is that you can file it all alone without the help of an attorney. The bad news though is that it’s not the best decision you should ever make. Some of the factors to consider when you want to hire an attorney for filing a bankruptcy relief will depend on:

  • Whether or not you’re filing for chapter 13 or chapter 7.
  • Your income and property that you possess.
  • How technical your bankruptcy is.
  • Whether or not you have the skills to handle it on your own.

Can You File It on Your Own If it’s a Simple Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Probably you must have now lost hope after those hard truths above, but here is the relief; you can still file a bankruptcy relief on your own if it’s a simple chapter 7 bankruptcy. In a nutshell, a chapter 7 bankruptcy means:

  • Your income is way below the state’s median level of income.
  • You don’t own any property and if you do, it’s little.
  • There are no recent transactions made by you regarding property transfers to your preferred debtors.
  • There is a low probability that your creditors will make any claim that what they owe you is nondischargeable in bankruptcy. In as much as you may be willing to file your bankruptcy relief on your own, it will still require you to invest a lot of your time. Therefore, if you want your case to go through, obtain your discharge, and secure your property, the following are what you need to do:
  • Make sure you fill in the bankruptcy forms properly taking care you don’t make any errors.
  • Do some research and know how the bankruptcy law works.
  • Research on some of the exemptions your state offer.
  • Be careful and follow all the steps needed to complete the process.

When Do You Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer?

Most of the times, if you need to file for bankruptcy, you will need the help of a bankruptcy lawyer to help you with your bankruptcy case. It means you will be filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy. This chapter enables you to:

  • Catch up with the loan payments you had missed like the mortgages, car loans, etc.
  • Cancel junior liens that may not be secure from your premises using lien stripping.
  • Reduce your balance or the interest you are entitled to on your car loan.

You should know that chapter 13 of the bankruptcy relief is more complex compared to chapter 7 of the bankruptcy relief. In short, if you want to convince the court to approve your case, you will have to propose a repayment plan that’s fair.

In addition to that, if you want to do away with your subsequent or second mortgage, you will be obliged to file more paperwork. For that reason, it’s just freaking hard to make it without the help of a bankruptcy attorney. Therefore, you need a lawyer to help you with the case.

Final Thoughts

In as much as you will be able to file chapter 7 on your own, you will still require the help of an attorney. So, if you are serious about securing your bankruptcy relief, hire your best lawyer to help you.