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Caution Before Proceeding Without a Lawyer

IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN ATTORNEY IF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING APPLY TO YOU:

  • You have tax debts, student loans, or liens on your property.
  • You own property with equity.
  • You own your own business.
  • You are involved in a profit-sharing arrangement.
  • You have an asset you do not wish to lose.
  • You have a pension plan.
  • You want to avoid having your financial accounts frozen.
  • You want to avoid having your wages garnished.
  • You have ever used another name or social security number.
  • You have previously filed for bankruptcy.
  • You want to avoid an eviction or foreclosure.
  • You have questions about what debts will be discharged.
  • You are filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

For a complete listing, review Bankruptcy Checklist. If you checked one or more spaces you may have legal issues that will be difficult to resolve without the help of a lawyer. Filing a bankruptcy incorrectly can harm you. Your case may be dismissed and you may not get the relief you hoped for. Make sure that you are familiar with the process, and well-informed of the consequences of your decision to file. Remember, if you are not represented by an attorney, no one may appear on your behalf at any bankruptcy hearing.

Don’t be a victim of fraud!

Non-attorney bankruptcy petition preparers SHOULD NOT give legal advice and MAY NOT tell you how to address any of the above situations.  The charge for a non-attorney to prepare a bankruptcy petition may not exceed $200. If you are unable to afford an attorney you may qualify for pro bono (free) or reduced fee legal representation. Contact the organizations provided under Legal Assistance section of the court website.