Filing for bankruptcy is something that people do to get a fresh start in their lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the loss of jobs and steady income for many families around the world. Accumulating debts and job losses made many people file for bankruptcy themselves.
In legal terms, it is called pro se litigants, where an individual files for bankruptcy on their own without an attorney. There are many pros and cons to filing for bankruptcy without an attorney.
If we look at them in detail, it will help you understand if you should seek the help of an attorney if you are filing for bankruptcy. Often, people choose to file on their own when they do not have the money to hire an attorney.
Explaining All possible Pros And Cons Of Filing For Bankruptcy Without A Lawyer
Filing for bankruptcy with the right lawyer is vital for a person to get rid of their debts. They can also protect their valuable properties when they choose to file for bankruptcy. We look at the top 5 pros and cons of filing for bankruptcy without an attorney.
Savings on Attorney Fees
It is by far the top reason why people choose to file for bankruptcy without an attorney. Usually, the attorneys charge large amounts in legal fees to file for bankruptcy. However, there are times when people are not able to afford the expensive expenses.
In these cases, they end up filing for bankruptcy by themselves. The court sees a lot of pro se litigants trying to get a debt-free and fresh start in their lives. While some cases are won, others are terminated by the court for various reasons.
So, if you are filing for bankruptcy by yourself, the chances of saving some hard-earned money are high. This money can be used for your other expenses when you plan to get a fresh start in your life.
Using A Bankruptcy Preparer
If you are a pro se litigant, you can hire a bankruptcy preparer who is not a lawyer. They charge less in terms of fees but still end up helping you file for bankruptcy through the right channel. They will not be able to represent you in the court of law.
However, they would help prepare all the required documents to enable you to file for bankruptcy using the right chapters. They have software applications to fill out all the paperwork necessary to file for bankruptcy.
There are more cons to trying to file for bankruptcy without an attorney. They outweigh the pros associated with filing for bankruptcy without an attorney. These reasons are why people often choose an attorney to represent them as stated by the lawyers from scura.com.
Selecting the Right Chapter
It is one of the common mistakes people make when they choose to file for bankruptcy without an attorney. There are two chapters you can select between when filing for bankruptcy, and they are different in many ways. These chapters are 7 and 13 respectively.
Filing with the wrong chapter can mean that you lose your property. You are also likely to have your case dismissed. Selecting the right chapter would ensure that you can start a debt-free life. You may also end up keeping your essentials, such as your home and car.
Each state has different paperwork requirements for a person to file for bankruptcy. A layman may not be able to prepare all the documents by themselves. By hiring an attorney, you can stay put as they prepare all the necessary paperwork to file bankruptcy.
It would relieve you from the stress of understanding the documentation process for filing. You might have a bankruptcy preparer help you with documentation. However, the court filing would require more paperwork that they can not assist you with.
Lack Of Experience
It may be the first time you are filing for bankruptcy in a court of law. It means that you do not have any prior experience with it. So, you would be a novice while attempting to represent yourself. It would require a lot of learning and knowledge of the bankruptcy laws.
However, if you have an experienced attorney representing your case in a court of law, you have a better chance of winning it. These attorneys have experience in handling different bankruptcy cases and are efficient in handling yours with no trouble.
Failure To Protect Property
There are property exemptions you would have to consider when you file for bankruptcy using either of the chapters allowed. As a layman, it may be impossible for you to know the right paperwork to produce in order to protect your property.
An experienced attorney can help you protect not just your home but also other things like your car and essential requirements. These things can have a large impact on how you can restart your life afresh. These attorneys have done it before for others and are capable too.
Having your case dismissed by the court of law is not what you want when filing for bankruptcy. Failing on any front can often lead to a case dismissal. It would end up meaning that you will still be stuck with your debts and possible foreclosure of the home.
It is common when people choose to represent themselves in a court of law. An attorney would fight with all their experience and ability to ensure that the case is not dismissed. It will give you some breathing room as you try to restart your life.
Anyone who understands even a little bit of the law would suggest that hiring an attorney would be the best bet. You can represent yourself if you do not have valuable property or have no income whatsoever.
It may be a good idea for you to consult an attorney for free to determine your chances of winning or losing a case while filing for bankruptcy. The free consultation will help you understand your chances and advantages better.