Should You Represent Yourself in Your Bankruptcy?
If you are facing serious debts with an inability to repay them, you may find yourself considering bankruptcy. Bankruptcy allows debtors the option of discharging most of their consumer debts (Chapter 7) or establishing a repayment plan in order to give a debtor more time to repay their creditors (Chapter 13). Whatever type of bankruptcy you are considering, you may wonder whether or not you should represent yourself in the process of bankruptcy. If you already have debts, you may feel concerned about attorney fees and want to save additional money by doing the entire bankruptcy process on your own. Every person is legally allowed and has the right to represent themselves in a legal process. However, you may want to consider the following before making the decision to forego an experienced bankruptcy attorney and represent yourself in the bankruptcy process.
Legal Bankruptcy Forms
Bankruptcy requires several different types of forms that must be filled out correctly and submitted within a certain time period in order to qualify for bankruptcy. In some cases, these bankruptcy forms are available online. However, the forms, formatting, and deadlines for submission change, as bankruptcy is an ever-evolving field of law. New regulations and laws make certain forms obsolete, or other forms necessary. Even if a debtor does find all of the correct forms, there are very specific ways that the forms need to be filled out and filed with the bankruptcy court in order to legally and effectively establish a bankruptcy case.
Expertise and Knowledge
Like any legal case, every situation has its own unique sets of facts and circumstances. Can you keep your tax return? Will you have to disclose any rental property you placed in an LLC at a previous time? Do you have the unique situation where you would be able to actually discharge your student loans? Bankruptcy attorneys have years of experience not only filling out the bankruptcy forms, but using their extensive knowledge and expertise to obtain the best possible legal outcomes for their clients. Additionally, there are 341 Meeting of the Creditors, court dates, and other important events that occur within a bankruptcy. Making sure that the proper information is given to the proper persons (such as the bankruptcy) in an accurate way oftentimes takes years of experience and knowledge.
Fresh Start and Financial Relief
The entire purpose of bankruptcy is to give a debtor a financial fresh start. While it is true that bankruptcy attorneys charge for their services, knowing that all the bankruptcy forms are filled out correctly, court dates have not been missed, and that you have the correct legal advice with respect to your particular situation is invaluable. Additionally, while most debtors are hesitant to add another fee onto their financial burdens, having an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your corner can save you time and money due to the fact that your bankruptcy will be completed correctly.
Contact Us Today for Help
If you are considering bankruptcy, contact us for a free consultation to see how an experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorney at Kelley, Fulton & Kaplan at 561-264-6850 can help you with your bankruptcy case.