With the economic downturn and high unemployment rates, it is not unusual for individuals to file bankruptcy “Pro Se” or without the help of a bankruptcy lawyer. So, can you file bankruptcy without an attorney?
Obviously, the answer is yes, but the real question is should you? Anyone can file for bankruptcy protection without the aid of a bankruptcy lawyer. There is no law that says you cannot file Pro Se. Filing Pro Se can be effective and cost efficient for some people, but filing Pro Se is not for everyone. If you can read well, retain what you read, are detail oriented, and have a good mind for understanding the nuances of what you have read, then you might be a good candidate to file Pro Se.
Even if you have all those qualities, it may not be a good idea for you to file Pro Se. It all depends on the complexity of your particular situation and what type of bankruptcy you file. Bankruptcy laws can be very complicated due to bankruptcy laws regarding exemptions, non-exemptions, debts that cannot be discharged, abuse questions, court challenges, payment plans, trustee actions, the bankruptcy process, and the actions of creditors during a bankruptcy. A bankruptcy lawyer can help you understand all the complexity of bankruptcy laws, especially how they might apply to your particular financial situation.
Here are some pros and cons of hiring a bankruptcy attorney:
- You can save the cost of a bankruptcy attorney if you file Pro Se. Depending on the type of bankruptcy you file and whether or not they have complications, the average cost in the United States for hiring an attorney is $750 and up.
- Filing Pro Se can be a rewarding learning experience, but the experience can be time consuming and stressful.
- Sometimes it can be cheaper if you just pay a bankruptcy attorney to help you file bankruptcy. A lack of experience almost always causes errors, and errors can cost money.
- Bankruptcy attorneys normally have more experience with the bankruptcy process. They are normally familiar with the local bankruptcy court, the judges, and the trustees. That type of experience usually pays dividends.
- Bankruptcy attorneys can act as your adversary in an adversarial situation, for instance, when a creditor or trustee objects to your plan.
- Filing Pro Se puts in control of your time, and you always know where your team is during the process, but good communication skills with your law firm can accomplish the same thing, and you should have more free time.
- Attorneys as bankruptcy specialists and have special training in the law and know the right questions to ask.
Whether you file Pro Se or not is a personal choice. If you need relief from the stress of debt and you live in or around the metropolitan areas of Allentown, Bethlehem, or Easton, Pennsylvania, contact us at www.betterbankruptcy.com .We will help you find a bankruptcy attorney in your area who will answer your bankruptcy questions.
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