When you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, you are likely looking for every way possible to save money. If you are considering filing your case without the assistance of a lawyer, you should think again. Filing “pro se” may actually cost you more than you might realize.
Representing yourself in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is very difficult. There is a reason attorneys are required to attend years of school before they can represent you. Attorneys understand the complicated bankruptcy laws and courtroom rules. They also are familiar with ways to protect you during your case.
While there are many self-help books and the internet has numerous websites to assist you with filing a case, these sources only provide general guidance. They do not practice before your local court and understand how the trustees run their cases. A reputable attorney increases the likelihood that your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 will fun smoothly.
There are a few common ways where a pro se debtor typically makes mistakes:
· You must pass the “means test” to be eligible to file a Chapter 7 case. If the test is not correctly applied, it could result in your case being dismissed. The means test is confusing, so it is common for pro se debtors who do not properly apply or pass it.
· Bankruptcy law provides numerous exemptions that allow a debtor to protect assets. Many pro se debtors fail to properly claim exemptions, allowing the trustee to seize an exempt asset and include it in the bankruptcy estate.
· Bankruptcy cases involve many strict deadlines and many pro se debtors miss these important deadlines. Certain failures can result in your case being dismissed.
Before you decide to represent yourself in a bankruptcy filing, consider how much it will cost you if you lose an asset or your case is dismissed. Representing yourself can be more expensive than hiring an attorney to represent you.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy protection, contact DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC, to protect your best interests and save you money.
At DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC, we help businesses and families find their way out of highly difficult financial situations. We provide the advice and guidance you need in obtaining debt relief through bankruptcy and debt negotiations. We can also assist you in defending a foreclosure action. Contact us at 414-377-0518 to discuss how our Milwaukee bankruptcy attorneys can assist you.