Ten Reasons Not To File Your Own Bankruptcy

I always tell people, if you are an electrician, go ahead and rewire your house, if you are a plumber, put in that new sink, but, if you are not, get someone who does know how to do those things.

Same with filing bankruptcy.

1. It is easy to flub a procedural requirement, not file the right paper at the right time, and get your case dismissed.

Starting over costs you another $299 filing fee.

2.  Each bankruptcy court has its own local rules, do you konw how to find them?  Even if you find what think you need about bankruptcy law online, did you find your court’s local rules

3.  You may lose property you could have exempted.

Each state has its own state law on what property can be exempted, and some states, like Michigan, also give you the option of using the federal exemptions.

4. You are risking criminal conviction for perjury if you fill out the forms inaccurately, or give the wrong answers at your hearing.

5. If you have not sent the required papers to the trustee before the hearing, you may have to come back for another hearing.

6.  If you do not make sure the court properly give notice to creditors, those garnishments or lawsuits or other collection actions may continue.

7. If you fill out the means test, or the budget, Schedules I and J, incorrectly, you may get a U. S. Trustee motion to dismiss.

8. Do you know what retirement accounts are exempt, how to exempt them?  If not, the trustee may take those accounts.

9. Do you know what transactions that you did BEFORE you filed bankruptcy that may cause problems?

There are many.  Have you given any property to a relative in the last year?

Did you make any repayments on loans from relatives in the last year?

10.  Peace of mind!

Ten Reasons Not To File Your Own Bankruptcy

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One Response to Ten Reasons Not To File Your Own Bankruptcy

  1. Bravo! I always tell people not to file without an attorney for the reasons stated. I would add (and this goes to peace of mind which was mentioned) that most attorneys will field phone calls from your creditors so that you no longer have to deal with them–just give them the name and number of your lawyer. That was a huge relief to me when I filed.

    Good luck to all!

    ep