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Why It’s a Bad Idea to Represent Yourself in a Bankruptcy Filing

The Importance of Legal Counsel in Bankruptcy Proceedings

Why It's a Bad Idea to Represent Yourself in a Bankruptcy FilingWhen you’re struggling to make ends meet, it may seem like the last thing you want to do is hire an attorney. After all, if you can’t afford to pay your others bills, how can you expect to pay a lawyer? For that reason, or maybe because you think a bankruptcy proceeding can’t be that complex, you may be inclined to try to handle the whole process yourself. That’s a bad idea, for a number of reasons.

You Don’t Know the Law

Even in the simplest Chapter 7 proceeding, there’s the chance that one of your creditors will be represented by counsel. In addition, bankruptcy law can be complex. There are limits to the types of debt that can be discharged and rules regarding property that is exempt from sale. Don’t expect the bankruptcy judge to come to your aid—the dockets are overloaded and the judge must be impartial.

You Don’t Know the Process

As with all legal matters, there are extensive rules of procedure regarding the proper documents to file, when to file them, what evidence is admissible, and when to respond to the court or other parties. If you miss a deadline, you may be without recourse. If a creditor contests anything and you have to appear before the bankruptcy court, you’ll be at a distinct disadvantage.

As a practical matter, your attorney may ask you to pay some amount at the beginning of the process, but most payment typically is made through your Chapter 13 reorganization plan or bankruptcy sale.

Contact Attorney Howard N. Sobel

At the office of Howard N. Sobel, we work closely with people who have questions or concerns about filing for bankruptcy. Contact our office online or call us at 856-424-6400 to see if you qualify for a free initial consultation. Evening and weekend appointments can be arranged upon request. We accept all major credit cards.

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