Why You Shouldn’t File Bankruptcy on Your Own
November 21st, 2016 by Bunch & Brock
Bankruptcy makes a long-term financial and legal impact on your life. Not to mention the emotional toll it takes, having to decide whether it’s even the wisest course of action, having to go through the process, then having to essentially start your financial life over again. Filing for personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 takes extraordinarily careful preparation, as well as understanding of the law. Misunderstandings or mistakes end up affecting your rights, more often than not. Life is complicated, and so are your finances.
It is perfectly legal to file “pro se,” which means without an attorney, but in spite of your financial predicament, you’re better off hiring an attorney. Pro se litigants are held to the same legal standards as attorneys in the eyes of the court system, and not all attorneys are created equal. Everyone is expected to follow the rules and procedures that govern federal courts and should be familiar with the United States Bankruptcy Code as well as the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.
If you misrepresent your information and such misinformation is discovered, the best case scenario is that your case gets delayed or dismissed. The worst case scenario is the denial of your discharge and criminal prosecution.
The attorneys at Bunch & Brock have filed bankruptcies for people for over 35 years and know how to answer all of your questions.
A good bankruptcy lawyer should be able to:
- advise you on whether to file a petition and under which chapter you should file
- advise you on whether any or all of your debts can be discharged
- advise you on whether you will be able to keep your home, car, or other property after you file
- advise you on whether you should continue to pay creditors
- advise you on how filing affects your taxes
- help you complete all the required file forms, including any local forms
- be a go-to resource for law and procedural explanations.
If you file pro se, you can seek help from a petition preparer, However, they are not attorneys and can only help with forms. It is illegal for them to give legal advice, help you in court, or even explain answers to your questions.
The bankruptcy umbrella is a federal one, so procedures are similar from state to state. However, each state carries its own local requirements. A Kentucky attorney can help you meet all the requirements so you not only fill out the proper forms, you also complete them correctly. A Kentucky attorney can explain exemptions and help you decide whether filing for bankruptcy is the wisest financial move. If it’s determined to be your best bet, the attorneys at Bunch & Brock can help you navigate through the bankruptcy process smoothly.
Each bankruptcy is unique, and it is important to have an accurate assessment of your situation in order to make certain the best path is followed. Don’t go it alone. Consult the experienced Lexington, KY bankruptcy lawyers at Bunch & Brock. We understand that circumstances exist that can result in financial problems for even the most conscientious of people, and we have guided many people through the bankruptcy process efficiently and effectively. Let us put our knowledge and experience to work for you to make the best plan for eliminating or repaying your debts. We encourage you to contact our office by calling 859-254-5522 or filling out this online form.