Can you file bankruptcy on your own as an individual?
Yes, but you shouldn’t.
It may seem like a good idea to pay the filing fee and try to save money on attorney’s fees, but in the long run hiring a competent bankruptcy attorney is worth the money.
Why do you need an attorney?
- Bankruptcy rules are complicated and they change often.
- This cannot be overstated, even regular, non-bankruptcy attorneys are confused by the bankruptcy rules.
- An attorney can help you with financial planning so that you keep as many of your assets as possible while staying within the bounds of the law.
- An attorney can make sure that you list all of your debts and assets properly. If you don’t follow all of the rules in bankruptcy, the judge might not let you get a discharge of your old debts and start fresh
- If you forget to list a debt, it can not be discharged – this could end up costing you thousands of dollars
This being said, it does make sense to try to educate yourself on the bankruptcy basics before going to an attorney for the first time. This way, you’ll have a better understanding of what the attorney is telling you, and you can save yourself time and money by knowing what information the attorney will need to file on you behalf.
Here are some useful resources on the basics of bankruptcy: