Consumers have the option to file bankruptcy without an attorney or "pro se." Many who choose to file without legal representation may opt to do so in hopes of saving money but for those who are not as familiar with the process, going at this on your own may come with consequences that could potentially make your situation worse. Rules related to bankruptcy can be complex and entering into the situation without following proper procedures may affect your rights as a debtor.
An example would be during the filing process. There are forms that need to be completed and submitted to the court, but if you fail to provide the court with needed documents you could lose protection of the automatic stay or even your right to file bankruptcy in the future. It has been recommended to go through the process with a bankruptcy attorney due to the long-term financial effects of filing and to avoid legal consequences.
If you file on your own and forget to add a debt, the judge may choose not to discharge the debt. The judge may choose not to discharge any debt if they feel there is fraud or dishonesty connected to the case. This is due to debtors filing on their own and providing false information on bankruptcy documents or hiding assets. When you begin the bankruptcy process you are expected to follow rules and regulations that are set within the federal court. Even if you are not able to afford legal services talk to your bankruptcy attorney about a payment plan.