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How To File For Bankruptcy Without A Lawyer

Can I File Bankruptcy Without A Lawyer

How to File for Bankruptcy Chapter 13 – Without a Lawyer

By FindLaw Staff | Reviewed by Bridget Molitor, JD | Last updated June 30, 2021

Yes, you can legally file for bankruptcy without a lawyer. But should you?

Every year, thousands of Americans find themselves too broke to pay off their debts, yet unable to afford bankruptcy. It probably comes as no surprise that attorneys’ fees make up the lion’s share of bankruptcy expenses. So you might be wondering, “Do I really need a lawyer to file for bankruptcy?”

It largely depends on how complex your case is. If you own little property and don’t make a lot of money, it might be possible to file bankruptcy pro se . But while filing for bankruptcy on your own can save you money, it’s a serious undertaking. You’ll have to pull together all of your financial documentation, file a lot of paperwork on time, and communicate with your bankruptcy trustee. You’ll also need to take the time to understand the state and federal laws that apply.

In this section, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and a few tips to help make the process as simple and painless as possible.

New York Legal Aid Organizations

If hiring a lawyer to help you with your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York is simply not something you can afford, you can seek assistance from one of the organizations offering free legal aid in New York. Since the law only entitles people dealing with a criminal matter to free legal representation, New York legal aid organizations assist low-income New Yorkers with a variety of civil matters, including New York bankruptcy matters.

Collect Your Texas Bankruptcy Documents

Your first step should be to collect the documents youâll need during the bankruptcy process. Some documents, like your paycheck stubs, medical bills, collection letters you have received from creditors, and a recent copy of your credit report will be useful when filling out your bankruptcy forms.

Other documents, like the tax returns you filed in the 2 years before filing bankruptcy will need to be submitted to the bankruptcy trustee before your meeting of creditors. If youâre closing a bank account before filing your bankruptcy, make sure you get a complete copy of your bank statements for the 6 months before the account is closed. Your bankruptcy trustee may want to review your statements, and once an account is closed, it can be time consuming and even expensive to get them from the bank.

Try to be as organized as possible when collecting the documents for your Texas bankruptcy. It may take you a while to collect everything but when youâre ready to take the next step, youâll feel more prepared.

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Take A Personal Financial Management Instruction Course

Finally, you must complete a post-filing Personal Financial Management Instruction Course within 45 days of your meeting of creditors. Take a look at the U.S. Trustee Program’s site to find an approved course near you. After you’ve completed the course, the last step is to wait to hear from the bankruptcy court whether your debts have been discharged.

Should You File For Bankruptcy Without An Attorney

How To Apply For Bankruptcy Without A Lawyer?

It is possible to file for bankruptcy without an attorney, but is it wise?

  • Just because you can, doesnt mean you should

Law is a knowledge service; lawyers do things for clients which clients do not know how to do themselves.

People often hire professionals for many knowledge-based services.

For example:

  • You go to a mechanic to figure out why your car is making a funny sound and fix it
  • You go to a doctor to figure out why your stomach hurts and fix it
  • You go to a plumber to figure out why your pipe is leaking and fix it

Bankruptcy lawyers figure out how you got into debt and fix it.

In fact, filing for bankruptcy may be one of the worst services for do-it-yourself for the following six reasons:

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Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Yourself

First, even before you begin to explore your eligibility, ask yourself, What do I have to lose? Do you have any property that is valuable? Do you own real estate?

For people who really dont have any significant property, dont have much income, and are burdened with overwhelming debt they simply cant pay, then there may not be much risk even if the bankruptcy fails.

On the other hand, if youve built up equity in your real estate, or if you have vehicles or other personal property that you want to protect, then it is at least advisable to seek an initial consultation with a bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy lawyers can often tell you whether or not you are a candidate for Chapter 7 at a free consultation. A bankruptcy petition preparer is, by law, not permitted to give you legal advice. Although most people dont lose property in Chapter 7, it is called a liquidation bankruptcy for a reason.;

If youre interested in filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy yourself, you could tell the attorney this. Just be honest. Most attorneys will tell you whether or not you may experience problems if you try to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy yourself.

Assuming that you have not filed bankruptcy before and your income is under the median income for your family size, you will not need to worry about the means test. You will have to fill out the bankruptcy schedules. The means test is a complicated matter.

How To File Bankruptcy In 2021 For Free: A 10

Upsolve is a nonprofit tool that helps you file bankruptcy for free. Think TurboTax for bankruptcy. Get free education, customer support, and community. Featured in Forbes 4x and funded by institutions like Harvard University so we’ll never ask you for a credit card. Explore our free tool

In a Nutshell

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an important debt relief tool for Americans in severe financial distress from losing a job, getting injured, or getting divorced. Upsolve walks you through the steps on how to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and get your fresh start in 10 steps.

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer.

Before Starting…

First, you need to determine whether filing bankruptcy will help you. Bankruptcy is a powerful debt relief tool, but only if it makes sense for your financial situation. Filing any type of bankruptcy provides immediate debt relief through the automatic stay. Thatâs the law that prohibits creditors from contacting you as soon as your bankruptcy case has been filed. It also stops a wage garnishment right away.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a very effective tool for erasing credit card debt, medical debts, and most other unsecured debt. Although Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy, filers are able to keep all their property in more than 90% of all consumer bankruptcy cases in the United States. You can file bankruptcy under Chapter 7 once every 8 years.

  • The name of your bankruptcy trustee

  • The date, time, and location of your meeting with your trustee

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Take A Credit Counseling Course

Once you have gathered your information, found a lawyer, and have the filing fee, call us again.;We can tell you if you qualify for a free credit counseling course.;The law says you must take a credit counseling course before you can file for bankruptcy. The Credit Counseling Course can be completed online or over the phone.

How Can An Arizona Bankruptcy Attorney Help

How To File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Without A Lawyer – Be Careful

If youve fallen behind on credit card payments, are struggling with unpaid medical bills, or are underwater in your home, contact a bankruptcy specialist at Lerner and Rowe Law Group. Our Arizona bankruptcy lawyers have helped hundreds of clients get a fresh financial start. Call to schedule an initial consultation at no cost to you. Well explore your legal options and help you make the right decision for you.

Reach us by phone at in Tucson, Phoenix, and throughout Arizona. You can also chat with a live representative online now, or submit the details of your case to our legal team using our secure contact form.

Lerner and Rowe® Law Group is owned and operated by attorneys Glen Lerner and Kevin Rowe. Sean Forrester is the criminal defense managing attorney of Lerner and Rowe Law Group and is a licensed attorney in the state of Arizona. Andrew Nemeth is the bankruptcy managing attorney of Lerner and Rowe Law Group and is licensed in the state of Arizona.

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Collect Your New York Bankruptcy Documents

The first step in preparing to file is to collect your bankruptcy documents. These are the documents youâll need to fill out your bankruptcy petition. To make sure that you properly schedule all of your debts, get a copy of your credit report from each one of the three credit bureaus. Youâre entitled to a free copy of your report from each one of them every year. Additionally, you should also collect all collection notices and letters youâve received in the last 90 days from debt collectors and collection agencies as some of them may not yet appear on your credit report.

Youâll also need your two most recent income tax returns as filed with the IRS and each paycheck stub you received in the last 6 months. Since your bank statements will prove useful in creating your budget for your life after filing Chapter 7 in New York, you should collect at least the two most recent ones for each one of your accounts.

What Is A Bankruptcy Petition Preparer

A bankruptcy petition preparer is any person or business, other than a lawyer or someone who works for a lawyer, that charges a fee to prepare bankruptcy documents. Under your direction and control, the bankruptcy petition preparer generates bankruptcy forms for you to file either by typing them or inputting information into a bankruptcy software program.

Because bankruptcy petition preparers are not attorneys, they can’t provide legal advice or represent you in bankruptcy court. Specifically, they can’t:

  • tell you which type of bankruptcy to file
  • tell you not to list certain debts
  • tell you not to list certain assets, or
  • tell you what property to exempt.

In essence, you must understand what debts your bankruptcy will discharge, what will happen to your property in the bankruptcy, and what laws should be used to exempt your property from being taken for the benefit of your creditors.

Also, you must file the bankruptcy papers yourself and represent yourself in court. In other words, you are responsible for your case. You act as your attorney and use the bankruptcy petition preparer as a typing service that transposes the information you give them onto the official forms.

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Bankruptcy Forms For Filing

Next in the process come the formslots of forms. This can be two or three sessions with a lawyer because it includes paystubs for the last 60 days, tax returns for the last two years, and about two hours of listing out all your debts and finances.

Total its more than 60 pages which is why bankruptcy lawyers charge $1,500 and more for the process. Its also part of the reason why the Upsolve app was created, to make it easy for regular people to be able to file when they cant afford a lawyer.

Everyone filing bankruptcy has to take two online courses, a credit counseling course you take before filing and then a debtors education course afterwards. The credit counseling course costs between $15 to $25 and takes about an hour online.

How To File For Bankruptcy Without A Lawyer In Texas

Filing Bankruptcy Without a Lawyer: Can or Should You?

Individuals have the right to represent themselves in bankruptcy court. You can file for bankruptcy without a lawyer if you want to. This is called filing pro se. Your local U.S. Bankruptcy Court makes all its forms available online. If you want to file for bankruptcy without a lawyer, you can complete those forms and submit them to the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Once you have filed the proper forms and paid your filing fee, the Bankruptcy Trustee will oversee your bankruptcy case including the liquidation of your assets or approval of your payment plan. It will be up to you to make sure everything is in order, attend a creditors meeting, and answer any questions the trustee may have.

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Centennial Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer Wagner Law

After all, you never want to make a big decision without first having all the facts. If you are thinking about filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Colorado,;

Aug 17, 2018 All Colorado bankruptcies are handled in Denver at the federal district court. Legal paperwork can be filed by mail, in person or, if working;

The right to file for bankruptcy is provided by federal law and cases are handled in federal court. · The Chapter 7 filing process takes about four to six months;

In Colorado, lawyer fees for Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases range from about $1,800 to $5,000+, in addition to a filing fee of approximately $335 for a Chapter 7;

Filing Bankruptcy Without A Lawyer: Can Or Should You

Filing For Bankruptcy Without an Attorney From a legal standpoint, theres no issue with representing yourself in your bankruptcy case. It is certainly;

Oct 12, 2020 How to file bankruptcy without a lawyer · Analyze your debt. · Take a pre-bankruptcy course. · Choose which type of bankruptcy is best for you.

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What Can I Do If I Cant Afford A Bankruptcy Lawyer

Find out how to file for bankruptcy when you cant afford a lawyer. offer free legal information or clinics to help debtors filing without an attorney.

While its possible to file bankruptcy without an attorney, its not recommended. An experienced attorney can review your information before you file and;

Why Would I File For Bankruptcy Without An Attorney

How to File Bankruptcy Online without a Lawyer [and SAVE]

Filing for bankruptcy without a lawyer can help save you money. Lawyers generally charge between $500-3,750 for Chapter 7 and $2,500 and $6,000 to file Chapter 13. These numbers exclude the $335 filing fee for Chapter 7 or the $310 filing fee for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. So putting in some research and extra effort by filing the Chapter 7 yourself can go a long way in helping you get debt-free without taking on more debt in the process just to get some legal assistance. However, the U.S. Government strongly recommends you seek out an attorneys advice in every Chapter 7 and 13 case, since bankruptcy can have long-term financial and legal ramifications.

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Can I File Bankruptcy Without My Spouse In 2021

4 minute read ⢠Upsolve is a nonprofit tool that helps you file bankruptcy for free. Think TurboTax for bankruptcy. Get free education, customer support, and community. Featured in Forbes 4x and funded by institutions like Harvard University so well never ask you for a credit card. Explore our free tool

In a Nutshell

Yes, you can file bankruptcy without your spouse. A variety of factors play a role in determining whether filing bankruptcy with or without your spouse makes the most sense for you. This article will explore some of these considerations, then provide you with an overview of how to file bankruptcy without your spouse.

Yes, you can file bankruptcy without your spouse. A variety of factors play a role in determining whether filing bankruptcy with or without your spouse makes the most sense for you. This article will explore some of these considerations, then provide you with an overview of how to file bankruptcy without your spouse.

What Documents Do I Need To File For Bankruptcy In Colorado Without Lawyer

You need to provide all kinds of essential papers to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy without a lawyer. These include your ID proofs, any court summons that you have received, agreements related to unsecured debts, property deeds, and other similar documents that can prove your financial condition.

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Will My Spouse Be Responsible For Joint Debts If I File An Individual Bankruptcy Case

In the case of joint debts, an individual bankruptcy filing does not protect your spouse from debt collections for joint debts. An individual bankruptcy filing only impacts your personal liability for the debt.; Creditors cannot attempt to collect discharged debts from the debtor.

However, if your non-filing spouse is a co-debtor, the creditor can take all legal actions to collect the unpaid debt from your non-filing spouse. Actions include, but are not limited to, debt collection lawsuits, wage garnishments, repossessions, foreclosures, levies, and seizures. The creditor may need to wait until your bankruptcy case is closed, or it can petition the court to proceed with collections against your spouse for the joint debt.

It is important to read the credit agreement for each debt before filing bankruptcy. In some cases, your spouse could be responsible for a supplementary cardholder account. A supplementary cardholder has a credit card in his or her name with the same account number assigned to you as the primary account holder. This situation usually happens when a spouse applies for credit and answers yes when the company asks if the person wants a card for his or her spouse.

Southern District Of Indiana Requirements

Should I file for bankruptcy without a lawyer?

The Southern District of Indiana serves the 60 southernmost counties in the state and holds court in Evansville, Indianapolis, New Albany and Terre Haute. Since the next blizzard is never far off in Indiana, the Southern District also lists its policy on weather related closings on its website. If you are thinking about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Indiana without an attorney , make sure to check out the information about courthouse restrictions and courtroom etiquette the Southern District provides.

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