Risks of Filing Bankruptcy on Your Own
It may seem like a simple process but filing bankruptcy on your own could make your situation more challenging than it seems. Even if you think your circumstances may seem simple, once you get into the process things may become complex when you least expect it. While it may be easy to get the necessary forms to begin the process from the courthouse or downloading online, looking at the forms themselves may prove just how challenging a bankruptcy petition can be.
For instance, many debtors who attempt to file on their own may not be clear on which chapter they should file. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often filed when a there are little assets and limited income. Chapter 13 bankruptcy helps reorganize debt with a repayment plan so you should be working with stable income.
One of the biggest challenges when people file on their own is the paperwork associated in creating the bankruptcy petition. The bankruptcy court system has strict rules and many rejections that come from the court are due to incomplete paperwork. If something is incorrect on your petition, it's unlikely they will send it back to you and let you correct it. After learning why it was rejected you'll have to submit paperwork all over again. If you have creditors harassing you, doing the process over again is the last thing you want to spend time doing.
Your petition could be delayed for lack of legal advice or other information if the forms are not completed correctly. There is a meeting of the creditors you're required to attend upon filing and this could become an uncomfortable situation if creditors decide to come hard with questions. The meeting could last several hours. If your petition doesn't look like it's in order, the meeting could be delayed until you seek legal assistance. Obtaining legal counsel from the start can avoid potential pitfalls and help you understand your situation thoroughly to obtain a positive outcome.