Should You File For Bankruptcy Yourself, Use A Petition Preparer, Or Hire A Lawyer?

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Should You File For Bankruptcy Yourself, Use A Petition Preparer, Or Hire A Lawyer?

Once you have decided that you should be filing for bankruptcy, the next hard question is who should be doing the actual filing? In order to apply for bankruptcy, you need someone who knows what to file, when to apply it, it is not meant to be done by someone who has no understanding of the subject matter. Given your need to apply for bankruptcy, you have 3 choices on how you can achieve this filing. One is to do it yourself, second is to hire a petition preparer, and lastly is to hire a bankruptcy lawyer. By choosing either choice, you should be aware of the pros and cons of each.

Do It Yourself (DIY)

The only benefit if you are filing bankruptcy by yourself is that you will save the money that you will paying to the bankruptcy attorney or the petition preparer. Given the only advantage of filing bankruptcy on your own, there are plenty of reasons you should not try to file the petition on your own. The reasons include you might know what forms to fill out correctly, and how to fill the forms so as to protect yourself to the maximum extend possible. You might not realize now, but one simple mistake that you make can have a ripple effect affecting your bankruptcy petition. It can mean that your case can be delayed, or worst case scenario you will lose more than you need to unless you have someone who knows the bankruptcy law and can help you protect your assets.

Get help filing using a petition preparer

It is also possible to hire a petition preparer to help you with your bankruptcy filing. A petition preparer’s main function is to fill out the appropriate bankruptcy forms for you. You will provide the preparer with all the relevant information for the filing and the petition preparer will fill out the appropriate forms. Legally, the petition preparer cannot do any of the following:

Give you legal tips on any issues
Petition preparer cannot represent you in the bankruptcy court or 341 meeting
Cannot explain any legal interpretations to you
Cannot draft any legal documents to represent you


As you can see, the petition preparer is nothing more than just a “paper pusher”. The only good thig of using a petition preparer is that he or she knows what bankruptcy forms to fill out. Since the petition preparer does not have any actual legal training, he or she can miss crucial facts that can actually impact the result of your bankruptcy filing. As you have probably deduced by now, I do not suggest using a petition preparer in your quest for a successful bankruptcy filing.

Get a qualified bankruptcy lawyer

This is the only legitimate way if you are planning on filing for bankruptcy. While the bankruptcy lawyer can cost you a little bit of money, the bankruptcy lawyer is also the person who can help you to keep the assets you most treasured through the usage of the bankruptcy law. Another advantage that a bankruptcy attorney provides for you is that the lawyer knows exactly when and and what to file to make the entire process a successful one. Through a bankruptcy lawyer, you should be able to keep a lot more of your assets using the bankruptcy exemptions which otherwise could have escaped you using the preceeding methods of filing. By hiring a bankruptcy lawyer to do all the paper filings, you are removed from the potential mistake of mis-filing or just forgot to file a specific document. Out of all 3 methods to file for bankruptcy, you should only consider hiring a bankruptcy lawyer to do so. Only by using a attorney in your bankruptcy case, you will be certain that the case will proceed without a obstacle and the bankrutpcy discharge will be issued by the court system.

The cost of a bankruptcy attorney is not trivial, but if you want a successful filing, you should definitely consider hiring a qualified attorney to help you through the process. The bankruptcy attorney can guide you through the filing, and help you retain as much assets as you are legally allowed to. Since your bankruptcy lawyer has been lawfully trained to practice bankruptcy law, you should rest assured that your anxiety or concern about bankruptcy can be put to rest. You should treat this bankruptcy with the utmost importance because this should be the only once in a lifetime affair for you.

Steve Sanchez has recently overcome the economic depression of 2008-2009 by declaring bankruptcy.  Even though bankruptcy has devastated Steve financially and emotionally, Steve has rebuilt his businesses in the last 6 months and he has not looked back since.One of his project is to educate people on bankruptcy.  Having gone through the ordeal himself, he has first hand knowledge of the pros and cons of filing for bankruptcy protection.  Please visit his site if you want additional information regarding bankruptcy.
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