Thinking of Filing for Bankruptcy? Think Twice Before you File Bankruptcy Without an Attorney.
According to a 2011 study by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, 1 out of 9 people file for bankruptcy pro se, or without an attorney.
The reasons people give for filing pro se range anywhere from believing they cannot afford an attorney to being misled about the necessity of needing a bankruptcy lawyer.
However, statistically speaking, the success rate of getting debts discharged without an attorney is low compared to the success rate with an attorney. The bar graph below represents the percentages of people who get their debts discharged with and without an attorney in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies.
Of those debtors who filed Chapter 7 bankruptcies on their own, 61% succeeded in obtaining a discharge. That is not a very poor statistic, except that in comparison, 95% of the people who used an attorney to file a Chapter 7 obtained a discharge. The statistics are staggering for individuals filing Chapter 13 without an attorney: only 1% succeeded compared to the 55% who used a bankruptcy lawyer.
Aside from a low success rate, debtors who file on their own and lose in court risk negative consequences. In some instances, the denial of discharge may be permanent and can prevent the filing of a future bankruptcy case to eliminate debt. In other cases, the debtor may not receive the protection of an automatic stay during the case.
Why Hiring an Attorney is in Your Best Interest
If you find yourself facing insurmountable debt, you could cause more damage to your case by not hiring a professional bankruptcy attorney.
An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can, among other benefits:
- Advise you on whether or not filing bankruptcy is in your best interest
- Provide alternative solutions to filing bankruptcy
- Follow proper protocol when filing proper forms and fees
- Claim appropriate property exemptions to protect your assets
- Guide you to fulfill the proper requirements
- Stop the harassment from creditors
- Represent you in court and with trustees
- Smooth out the process and save you time, stress, and hassle
- Proceed efficiently and expediently
At Khan Law, we are an experienced team of litigation specialists who represent your best interest with sincerity, genuine understanding, compassion, and privacy. We know it is difficult to come to terms with the thought of filing bankruptcy, but we will advise and counsel you on the best direction for your individual case. Whether you are facing bills from a job loss, family emergency, health issue, divorce, housing disaster, or other personal crisis, we are here to help you see the light and get out from the stress of overwhelming debt.
We have helped many people who tried to file for bankruptcy on their own because they thought hiring an attorney was too expensive. After living through the stress, chaos, confusion, and red tape of the court system, they ended up having to pay more than they initially would have had they hired an attorney in the first place.
Avoid that pitfall. Contact our office for a complimentary and confidential consultation with East Bay’s bankruptcy lawyer, Alia Khan. Alia specializes in serving Pleasanton, Fremont, Stockton and the rest of the Tri Valley for all of your bankruptcy needs.
So if you are thinking of filing for bankruptcy without an attorney, THINK AGAIN, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.