Are you thinking to file a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy case without the help of a bankruptcy attorney? If you are, there are high chances that you have a pretty tight budget. You have spent time searching for the fee of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney and even the low-income bankruptcy lawyers seem to be out of your budget.
Individuals can surely file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case without professional and legal help from a bankruptcy attorney. This procedure is known as filing ‘pro se’. However, they should not stop their hunt for cheap bankruptcy lawyers as seeking a bankruptcy lawyer’s advice is crucial. Bankruptcy cases have long-term legal and financial outcomes.
Filing a bankruptcy case under Chapter 13 or 7 takes days of preparation and a complete understanding of the legal issues that might arise during the procedure. Misunderstandings and failure to follow law enforcement upon you might ruin your case in no time. Moreover, you cannot even take useful advice by a court bankruptcy attorney as one is strictly prohibited by law.
When Is It Feasible to File Without A Bankruptcy Attorney?
If you have a simple bankruptcy case, then you do not need to search for a chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney. You can proceed to the legal process and receive a grant for discharging all the debts on your own.
If you have a low income than the media state, do not have enough assets to afford even one of the cheap bankruptcy lawyers, and do not have any priority debts or fraud allegations against you, you can easily file the pro se case without a chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney.
When Is It Bad to Not Hire A Bankruptcy Attorney?
Certain bankruptcy cases are very complex to be handled by an individual. For instance, if your average income is above the median state-level or if you own a business, things might get hot in the court.
If you have creditors claiming against you or have an ample amount of assets, it is advisable not to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy case on your own. Instead, look for low-income bankruptcy lawyers as the court may seize your assets.
Are You Comfortable to Do It on Your Own?
Even if you have a simple bankruptcy case, you might not have the energy or the guts to fight for yourself. Sometimes, the cases can be time-consuming and intimidating. Filling out forms, attending hearings, searching endlessly for laws can get you tired.
If you are not ready to face all the circumstances of an ongoing legal process, it is best to look for a bankruptcy attorney. Not only would you be free from filling legal forms but would have someone to fight on your behalf.
8 Steps to File A Bankruptcy Case Without Attorney- Under Bankruptcy Laws
Here are the 8 steps to file a bankruptcy case without hiring a chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney:
- The law has established limits on wealth and income. Therefore, you need to provide full disclosure of your assets, income, and wealth. If your income is less than the median state level and has fewer assets, you are eligible to file a bankruptcy case on your own.
- After that, you have to fill out the means test if your income is above the median state level. This form would determine if your average income is less or more than the other households of your size in the same state.
- Before filing a case, the court would assure if you have proper education about debt handling. You must clarify to the court that you do meet the requirements.
- After that, you have to fill out Form B1, an official voluntary petition.
- When you have assembled all the documents and filled out all the paperwork, you have to file a petition so that your case could be scheduled.
- You would have to attend a 341 meeting where the trustee would ask you several questions about your debt management and non-exempt property.
- You must also attend the financial management course or you might risk having your case dismissed.
- In the end, you have to meet all the court’s requirements before you can represent yourself in the court.
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