Do it yourself bankruptcy or filing “Pro Se” is a viable option for many who find that bankruptcy is their only option to get out of debt but can’t afford to pay a lawyer. However, many attempt filing bankruptcy on their own and do not succeed and find their cases dismissed. For this reason, if you’re considering filing bankruptcy, be sure to check all options first.
There are several ways to file for bankruptcy. You can hire an attorney who can help you prepare and file your petition, represent you in court and give you legal advice on your case. You can also seek the service of a petition preparer who will make sure all your bankruptcy forms are completed and filed properly. Or, if you are well-organized, you may be better off on doing your own paper work and save some money.
The Cost of Do It Yourself Bankruptcy Filing
Filing bankruptcy on your own costs less than paying lawyer’s fees, which can be as high as $1000 or even $2000. When you do file personal bankruptcy on your own, the main costs are the filing fees, which are $299 for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing and $185 for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing.
There are other costs to prepare for but your total costs would be far less than when you hire a lawyer or a petition preparer.
Self help bankruptcy filing is necessary for many. However, if you know you can squeeze out some money for lawyer’s fees, consider getting one because bankruptcy proceedings are not as simple as they may seem.
The Downsides of Do It Yourself Bankruptcy
The downside to file bankruptcy on your own is you have to take on all the work that can be confusing and complex because you need to know the legal process and its specific rules and regulations. Self help bankruptcy may work for you if you have few or no high-value assets and you want to learn bankruptcy laws, especially the new regulations.
If you are confident that you can do it yourself, prepare to do research on how bankruptcy proceedings work, what Chapter of the Bankruptcy Code is right in your circumstance, what are the eligibility requirements, and how exactly do you fill out and file your forms.
The requirements indicated in the new bankruptcy laws are more rigid. There are specific actions and deadlines you have to meet. In addition, you would need to fill out an average of 30 pages of bankruptcy forms and they would have to error free.
Without a bankruptcy case expert by your side, you would need to be extra careful with your filing because one mistake in your documents or one missed deadline may result in delays or dismissal of your case.
Compare all Options Before You File Bankruptcy
So, consider all option carefully before you file for bankruptcy on your own. Also, consult a personal bankruptcy lawyer for legal advice because first consultations are usually free. And only go with this option if you are confident that you can do it yourself.
Once you are ready, do online research to familiarize yourself with the bankruptcy law. There are do it yourself bankruptcy kits and do it yourself bankruptcy software that are available to help you with all the paper work. Just make sure you purchase the tool from a reputable company.