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Bankruptcy Lawyer Vs Pro Se Filing

Before making the decision to file for bankruptcy without help, look at the pros and cons associated with filing pro se versus filing with the help of a bankruptcy lawyer. Read on to learn more.

Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 on your own is legally possible, but you may find that the process goes much better with the help of a bankruptcy lawyer. If you are at the end of your financial rope and need to file, carefully weigh the pros and cons of the two filing methods before making your decision.

Benefits of Pro Se

Filing on your own is called “pro se” filing. The main benefit to this option is the fact that you will not be paying an attorney for services. This is what causes most debtors to go this route, because they are already in a financial bind, and therefore have no money, they assume, with which to pay a lawyer.

Cons of Pro Se

Filing without a bankruptcy lawyer has its cons as well. Learning all of the laws associated with filing takes years of training, something attorneys have and the average individual does not. It is quite easy to overlook a crucial component of the filing process or miss a filing deadline, and thus have your entire case dismissed on a technicality. This could mean having your case dismissed, even though you fully qualify for the protections afforded by the law.

Benefits of Using an Attorney

Hiring a bankruptcy lawyer gives you the benefit of having a professional in your corner. Attorneys have thoroughly studied all of the laws in your state and will ensure that every piece of paperwork is filled in correctly and filed on time. This can prevent your case from being dismissed on a technicality.

Using an attorney also takes much of the stress off of you as you file. You simply give your information to the attorney, and he or she will handle all of the busy work and forms. Forms that may be confusing to you are something the attorney sees every day, and will easily know how to maneuver through.

Cons of Using an Attorney

The main, and possibly only, drawback to using a bankruptcy lawyer is the cost. You will have to pay for these services, but they are likely less than you might think. Of course, the fee is something you will need to plan for. Since you know you will be filing, you can stop paying your debts and save that money for the attorney’s fees. Some attorneys will also allow you to pay those fees in installments if you are filing Chapter 13.

So is this cost worthwhile? What do you have to lose if your filling is denied because you made a mistake? You can appeal the decision, but this takes more time and sometimes costs more money. Using a lawyer ensures that things will go well if you are a qualified debtor. Failing to use an attorney could leave you with the burden of your debts and no protection. If this is a risk you are willing to take, then consider filling pro se. If notBusiness Management Articles, then hire the services of a bankruptcy lawyer before you start the filing process.

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When in need of the services of a bankruptcy lawyer, Columbus, Ohio residents can feel at ease knowing that they will not have to go it alone. To learn more about services offered locally, please visit

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