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Should You File Bankruptcy Yourself

Should you file for bankruptcy yourself? When pondering the question some point to the old saying, “he who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer.”

Some online companies that offer legal advice make it sound as though filing for bankruptcy is as simple as filling out forms. Someone might want to ask someone from one of those companies if completing a tax return is as simple as “filling out forms.” Tax forms have written instructions for non-professionals and non-accountants. Bankruptcy forms do not have written instructions written with the novice in mind.

If you have a lot of assets to lose in a bankruptcy, it might be worth your while to hire a lawyer when you file.
There are many mistakes typically made by those who file for bankruptcy themselves.

One common mistake made is exemptions are not included in the filing. These are things that are not included in the bankruptcy itself and cannot be touched by creditors or a bankruptcy trustee. Such things are covered by law, and not including them can cost a person filing for bankruptcy a lot of money and headaches.

Some filing for bankruptcy fail to list such items as property such as stock options, interest in probate estates, partnership interests, lawsuits, trust funds, retirement funds, and tax funds.

Some filing for bankruptcy themselves fail to list certain kinds of creditors, and this is a mistake. Another mistake is not listing creditors because the filer wants to repay the debt to a person or business.

Some debtors, wrongly believing nobody will know anyway, do not disclose some assets or transfer assets to others before their bankruptcy.

Some debtors greatly underestimate how much their living expenses are.

New bankruptcy amendments in 2005 mean some cases are dismissed automatically. In some cases, the relief available is limited. This makes the forms which must be completed very complicated. The changes made to the law were meant to discourage bankruptcy filings. The process is more complex. The mistakes are most costly.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy laws were not created for those representing themselves, laymen, or those who are not bankruptcy experts. Initial consultations with bankruptcy attorneys are free or inexpensive. Alternatives to filing for bankruptcy yourself would be saving up to pay attorney fees or finding a legal plan that will allow you to pay over time.  


Kairon - Bankruptcy or insolvency is a legal status of a person or an organisation that cannot repay the debts owed to creditors. In the majority of cases, bankruptcy is initiated by the debtor . An involuntary bankruptcy petition can not be filed against an individual debtor who is not engaged in business.
emmabail - really nice post
Nora (Guest) - Unfortunately one of the biggest mistakes that people make is assuming that bankruptcy  can be done without an attorney. Many people have to learn the hard way that they should have sought the legal advice of an attorney before filing for bankruptcy. One of the biggest mistakes that people who file on their own make is not listing all of their assets and not using the bankruptcy exemptions to protect them. What they are not aware of is that failing to list these assets and the exemptions may result in the trustee attempting to obtain these items and sell them for the benefit of creditors. It is not always as simple as amending the bankruptcy documents to protect the assets, since some trustee's may argue bad faith. This website contains a lot of good information about bankruptcy: