WHY DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY?
Just like you need a doctor when you’re sick, or a mechanic to fix your car, or a CPA to do your taxes or accounting, professionals who work in a specific practice area know more and are generally better equipped than people who try to do the work themselves.
You could file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy on your own, but if you make a mistake because you didn’t know any better, the court doesn’t give you much leeway and your case could be dismissed, forcing you to start from scratch with some consequences, the least of which being an additional $335.00 court filing fee for the new case. If it gets dismissed more than once, you might not be able to file again for an extended period of time and the benefits of the bankruptcy, including protection from your creditors, will be kept from you.
If you are filing a Chapter 13 instead of a Chapter 7, it gets even more complicated because you must prepare a repayment plan that will be accepted by the court, after negotiating with all your creditors. It becomes difficult to prepare this type of plan if you have never seen them before. Depending on the situation, certain creditors could become uncooperative, leaving your case to suffer.
If you attempt to prepare and file your own bankruptcy, you might save a few hundred dollars but cost yourself thousands because you didn’t know the law well enough. The law is an ever-changing entity. Let an experienced keep track of the law so that you get the best representation.