Bankruptcy is a risky thing to try without an attorney’s help. The law is complex and constantly changing. A missed deadline can keep you from filing, and even a supposedly small mistake can cost you thousands of dollars. When it comes to bankruptcy, just because you could do it on your own doesn’t mean you should.
The truth is that bankruptcy law is too confusing for a lot of practicing attorneys. The stakes are high and the deadlines are often closer than you think. When you’re dealing with the stress of mounting debt, the last thing you need is to be tipped over the edge as a result of trying to represent yourself.
There are many reasons not to file alone.
- If you don’t understand the exemptions, you could subject yourself to losing a lot of property.
- If you forget or otherwise fail to include certain property on your initial petition, you could lose the value of that property due to a lack of proper asset planning.
- You may not know about certain protections you can take advantage of, like the laws that extinguish second and third mortgages in certain situations.
- You may not understand how to protect and recover garnishments.
- Certain property, such as cars, requires valuation according to the current market value and a reasonable interest rate.
- The time of filing is important. Filing at the wrong time of year can lead to the loss of huge tax returns. What’s more, missing a deadline has serious short and long-term legal consequences.
- Without a lawyer’s protection, you risk inadvertently committing bankruptcy fraud. This is such a serious issue that one of the forms you are required to file forewarns you of the consequences of bankruptcy fraud.
You have more to lose than money by filing without an attorney.
There are several guides available that teach non-lawyers how to file for bankruptcy without an attorney’s help. These guides can be as long as 400 or 500 pages of dense print. Many people buy the book, try it out, and give up. I can understand why.
Going through the bankruptcy process is not like building furniture or following a recipe. There are decisions you have to make, complex language you’ll have to interpret, and time-consuming forms you’ll spend way too much time trying to figure out. Many, many people who try to handles D.I.Y. bankruptcy end up hiring an attorney anyway. Spinning your wheels until you give up can cost you way more than hiring an attorney from the get-go.
We also want you to consider a different kind of cost: the opportunity cost. When you’re spending countless hours trying to navigate these waters on your own, you’re missing time with family, work, and you’re also costing yourself your own sanity.
We understand why people feel like they have to file on their own or cut corners. When you’re struggling financially and are thinking about bankruptcy, the last thing you think you can afford is a lawyer. This is common, but bankruptcy can be affordable. Here, we will work with you to find a payment plan that makes sense.
Contact The Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy on your own, we urge you to contact The Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C., for a free and confidential consultation at no obligation. You can always choose to pursue bankruptcy on your own afterward if you’d like.
Call us at 503-278-5400 or toll-free at 888-560-8146. You may also complete our online contact form. Our law office is located in Beaverton, just outside of Portland, Oregon, and we serve the Greater Portland metropolitan area.