Today the idea of doing it yourself has infiltrated all aspects of our lives. Not only are we advised to tackle home repairs without the assistance of a specialist, we are encouraged to handle legal matters on our own, as well. While it is possible to file the forms associated with certain legal issues with little or no assistance, that does not always mean you should do so. Certain matters such as bankruptcy can quickly become complicated, and without a lawyer to represent you it is easy to make a costly mistake. Understanding why DIY bankruptcy is a bad idea will hopefully help you avoid a bankruptcy filing disaster.
No Representation at Hearings
Once the creation of new filing forms made it easier for a person to initiate bankruptcy proceedings without an attorney, many people rushed to complete bankruptcy petitions on their own. What many forgot or did not realize is that bankruptcy requires a debtor to attend many hearings. Without a bankruptcy attorney, you have no one to represent you during your meeting with your creditors or when your case goes before a judge. In fact, while many debtors are able to skip hearings after the meeting with creditors because their attorneys can attend on their behalf, you will be required to go to all hearings alone, often placing you in a room filled with experienced attorneys.
Errors Lead to Dismissal
Filing a bankruptcy petition and receiving an automatic stay does not mean that you will have indefinite protection from the court. If you make an error in your filing such as forgetting to submit an affidavit or not providing documentation to your trustee or the court, your bankruptcy case could be dismissed. While it is possible to refile, once your case is dismissed, your creditors can resume collection activities and may be even more aggressive than before. Having your bankruptcy case dismissed also means that you will need to repay filing fees and other expenses at a time when money is in short supply.
In many cases, a qualified bankruptcy attorney can take over your case and correct any mistake that you have made. Unfortunately, there are times when a person’s errors are so extreme that a bankruptcy attorney cannot provide that person with the help he or she needs. If your bankruptcy judge dismissed your case with prejudice and bars you from re-filing for several months, an attorney might not be able to get the court to reconsider their decision.
Discuss Your Situation
No matter what your bankruptcy status or financial situation is, the bankruptcy attorneys at Resnick Law are here to help. Our attorneys have helped individuals and businesses throughout Southeast Michigan get relief from their creditors through bankruptcy. We can also help you explore alternative debt relief methods such as debt settlements and negotiations with your creditor. If you are currently struggling with debt, contact our firm today at (248) 642-5400 to discuss your options and get the help that you need.
(image courtesy of Christin Hume)