One of the ways you can begin tackling your situation is through bankruptcy. Many people ask whether or not it is possible to file for bankruptcy without a lawyer. In this article, we will help you answer that question and determine whether you want to forge ahead with bankruptcy without the help of an attorney.
How to Determine if Bankruptcy Is the Right Decision
How do you know whether to pursue the possibility of bankruptcy? If bankruptcy would not help you recover from your financial situation, then you do not want to waste your time researching whether to consult with an attorney. Bankruptcy will appear on your credit report for years. Although it does not prevent eventually developing credit again in the future, it will be a long road. Only file for bankruptcy if you are truly without other options. A bankruptcy attorney can help you determine if you are a candidate.
Can You File for Bankruptcy Without an Attorney?
The short answer is yes, in some cases, you can file without a lawyer. You may be a candidate to file yourself if you meet these criteria:
- Your income is less than the median state income in North Carolina.
- You do not own much property.
- You do not have priority debt such as child/spousal support, legal fines, certain taxes, debts due to driving while intoxicated, HOA dues, etc.
- You are not subject to creditors alleging fraud against you.
Unfortunately, many of these are common reasons for incurring significant debt. If you do believe you have a chance of filing without an attorney, make sure you have everything in order. You need to have a thorough understanding of your debt, to whom it is owed, and why you cannot overcome it. With that said, although you can file without an attorney, the question is, why would you?
Why Do People Attempt to Avoid Filing for Bankruptcy with a Lawyer?
Why do people want to avoid using an attorney when they file for bankruptcy? Here are some answers to that question we have heard over the years.
The Cost: An obvious reason you might want to avoid using a lawyer when you file for bankruptcy is the perceived expense of legal assistance. Do you feel like you are already in such dire financial straits that you could not possibly afford an attorney? We understand how it might seem too expensive; however, the cost may be just a fraction of what you expect. More importantly, you do not know what a lawyer might find that you missed. Your attorney may be able to help you save more than they charge. Do not let the idea of the cost stop you from at least exploring whether hiring an attorney will be worth it.
The Fear: Some people avoid consulting an attorney for their financial situation because they are afraid of what a lawyer might uncover in their past. They might even see lawyers as people you consult only when you have done something wrong. Your legal consultant is here to help you. If you are trying to get back on your feet financially speaking, you have nothing to fear by consulting a trusted lawyer.
The Shame: One of the most common reasons people want to avoid consulting legal counsel is embarrassment. They feel ashamed that they allowed their financial situations to get so out of hand. At Robert P. Laney Law Firm, we want you to know there is nothing about which to be embarrassed or ashamed. By talking to us, we know that you are trying to make things right and improve your situation. We are here to help.
Before you decide to pursue bankruptcy without the help of a skilled and knowledgeable attorney, we would encourage you to pick up the phone and call the team at Robert P. Laney Law. We can help you determine whether or not to pursue bankruptcy and if your case will require a lawyer. Bankruptcy can seem scary, but you do not have to go through it alone.