Filing Bankruptcy Without an Attorney
In an effort to save money, some people look into filing bankruptcy without an attorney. They either prepare the bankruptcy documents themselves or hire a bankruptcy petition preparer. However, bankruptcy is a complicated area of law and filing without the advice of an attorney is very risky.
Non-attorney bankruptcy petition preparers are not allowed to give any legal advice. Doing so is engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. In Michigan, some preparers got into trouble with the bankruptcy court for providing legal advice to their clients. To make matters worse, they often incorrectly prepared bankruptcy paperwork resulting in many problems and revisions for their clients.
Failing to have correct information on a bankruptcy petition can result in the case being dismissed or a loss of assets. Filing bankruptcy involves more than just paperwork. An experienced attorney is better at predicting potential problems with a case. For example, are there any creditors who are likely to file a Complaint for fraud? Additionally, not everyone who wants to file bankruptcy should do so and an attorney can provide legal advice about the different options.
Problems increase when a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is filed without an attorney. In the Detroit area, there is a specific format for a Chapter 13 Plan. It’s important for creditors to be properly classified and for the payment amount to be properly calculated. People who file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy without an attorney end up with a dismissed case unless they hire an attorney at some point during the process.