A person who is struggling with financial issues often wants to save as much money as possible. Even if that means filing for bankruptcy without a lawyer. Unfortunately, filing for bankruptcy is more than just filling a few forms and filing them in the court. Though people can file for bankruptcy without a lawyer (pro se), it is generally not advisable. Data available for bankruptcy discharge with and without a lawyer will justify why it is advised to hire a lawyer when filing for bankruptcy. As per statistics available, only 0.4% of pro se Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers got their plans confirmed in California.
Lawyers of Dallas based bankruptcy law firm Recovery Law Group inform that it is next to impossible to get your reorganization plan confirmed in case of Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases without the expert advice of a lawyer. This is so because the rules are complex and difficult to understand for a layman and therefore people often have little chance of getting through with confirmation hearing, let alone discharge. If you wish to successfully get a confirmation hearing and eventually bankruptcy discharge, you need to consult expert bankruptcy lawyers at 888-297-6023.
In the case of Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, 40% of pro se filing was dismissed compared to 5.4% in the case of attorney represented cases. Since most filers expect financial relief from a bankruptcy filing, this comes as a huge shock. No discharge means no relief from creditors and bad credit report apart from retrying their luck in bankruptcy court. The odds of getting discharge with pro se filing is merely 36%. While having a bankruptcy lawyer to handle your case means that you do not have to worry about all the paperwork, people filing for bankruptcy pro se need to be aware of not just the various forms but also the rules of bankruptcy procedure apart from previous rulings in the Circuit, District and Supreme Court.
Through Bankruptcy Petition Preparers are present, they cannot dispense any legal advice. Their only function is to enter the information provided by you into forms. You must find out about the various exemptions, and which will suit you best, which chapter to file bankruptcy under, etc. Even the Official U.S. Bankruptcy Court insists on hiring a qualified attorney to handle the bankruptcy proceedings. Since the clerk’s at bankruptcy office cannot give you any legal advice, you need to hire attorneys to:
- Explain the various provisions of the law,
- Interpret case rulings and statutes,
- Help you complete the bankruptcy forms,
- Advise you with respect to the best procedure to achieve your goal, etc.
Any individual who opts for pro se filing is expected to know and abide by all the rules and aware of bankruptcy laws. This includes filing all written papers, being aware of the deadline for filings, serving papers to your creditors, wearing proper clothes in court, being ready to discuss the matter in court, etc. If even after your best efforts your case is not confirmed or discharge not granted, you end up wasting crucial time and money in filing fees. Even the automatic stay benefit is reduced, and you may end up losing your home, car, and money, apart from having a failed bankruptcy on your credit report. However, having a lawyer can save you crucial time and get you bankruptcy discharge thereby proving that money spent on hiring an efficient bankruptcy lawyer was a good investment.