Many people file their bankruptcies without an attorney. This is permitted, and you can file “pro se,” which means “for yourself.” You may think it isn’t that complex and you can save some money by doing it yourself. While you can save money if you successfully complete your bankruptcy, many do not, which may cause more problems in the end and may end up costing you more than if you had worked with an attorney in the first instance.
Bankruptcy courts are designed for attorneys and judges. The process assumes you understand many of the basics of civil and bankruptcy procedure and the general language that is used in court. It is not designed to provide much or any help to those who are inexperienced or confused.
From something as fundamental as understanding all debtors must first complete credit counseling prior to filing. If you file your bankruptcy without such counseling, it is very likely your bankruptcy will be dismissed.
You also must understand how to read any notice you receive from the court, and how to remedy incomplete filings. You also must know how to determine if you are eligible to file a Chapter 7, or will need to file Chapter 13.
If you have filed a prior bankruptcy within a certain period, your current filing will be dismissed as your are ineligible to receive another discharge until the requisite period of time has passed. And time period varies depending on which type of bankruptcy you previously filed and which type you are currently filing.
Bankruptcy filing is not inexpensive, and if your bankruptcy is dismissed, the clerks will not provide a refund. An attorney can help guide you through the bankruptcy process in a cost effective manner and save time and stress caused by pro se dismissals and the need to refile your case.