Risky Business: Filing Bankruptcy Without a Lawyer

When you are dealing with financial stress enough to be considering filing for bankruptcy, you may find yourself wanting to cut corners to save money. If you’re wondering, can you file bankruptcy without a lawyer, in the interest of saving a few bucks, you should understand why filing bankruptcy yourself in Glendale and other parts of Arizona is a bad idea.

Can You File Bankruptcy Without a Lawyer?

There is nothing legally stopping you from filing bankruptcy yourself in Glendale and other parts of Arizona. However, the process is complex and if you do not know everything there is to know about paperwork, filing, bankruptcy exemptions, and all the other ins and outs of filing bankruptcy, you should get a lawyer who does.

Bankruptcy attorneys are specifically educated and experienced in the field of filing for bankruptcy and all that it entails. They know what means tests to apply to your specific situation to determine what type of bankruptcy is best for you, are able to collect all the required documentation quickly, and can work your case through the court far more quickly than you might be able to do on your own.

In Arizona, bankruptcy exemptions must adhere to state law rather than federal. These bankruptcy exemptions can help you hang on to some of your property and assets, so if you do not want to lose everything, you should use bankruptcy exemptions to your advantage. Of course, your bankruptcy lawyer will best understand these rules and how they apply to you, giving you the most benefit.

 Weigh the Pros and Cons of Filing Bankruptcy Yourself

In the long run, while filing bankruptcy by yourself in Glendale might seem like a way to save money, it probably will not be. Your lawyer can find you cost savings and set you up for a future of good finances, setting you on your feet again and maximizing the amount of debt you are able to discharge.

Filing for bankruptcy by yourself opens you up to all kinds of troubles, from getting your case dismissed, losing assets including tax refunds, to incurring more debt than you need to, rather than saving.  The average success rate for a debtor filing a Chapter 7 on his or her own is 60% versus nearly 100% with an attorney; the average success rate for a debtor filing a Chapter 13 on his or her own is approximately .04 percent, 4 out of every 10,000 cases filed.

If you think ahead to the future and wish to make the most of having to file for bankruptcy, you will have a much brighter picture of your finances if you get professional help.


This blog is intended as a general discussion of legal issues and not as a statement of fact, legal advice or a legal opinion. No attorney-client relationship is created by this blog. Do not act or rely upon law-related information in this communication without seeking the advice of an attorney licensed to practice in the relevant area.

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