Being deep in debt is scary. Stress from constant debt collection efforts combined with fear that important bills cannot be paid is enough to overwhelm anyone. If your debt problems have led you to consider filing for bankruptcy, you are on the right track. Often, bankruptcy is the best way to discharge unmanageable debt and start over with a clean slate.
However, if you are considering saving money by filing for bankruptcy without an attorney, be careful. Bankruptcy is extraordinarily complicated, and even a small mistake can have disastrous consequences.
Even Minor Mistakes Can Ruin a Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy filers who choose to proceed without an attorney (are referred to as pro se) are expected to follow the same rules as experienced bankruptcy attorneys. If you choose to file pro se on your own behalf, you will not get any special help from the bankruptcy court.
Those who file for bankruptcy pro se can easily make mistakes that cause significant financial damage. For example, many debtors are not aware of all their outstanding obligations. However, debts that are not listed on the bankruptcy petition will not be discharged, and it can be nearly impossible to fix the issue after the fact.
Even worse, the entire bankruptcy can be thrown out and the pro se party could be charged with a crime if a judge finds that the bankruptcy paperwork omitted or misstated important information.
Even honest mistakes, like missing a filing deadline, can cause the bankruptcy to be dismissed permanently.
An Attorney Provides Invaluable Assistance
Consulting an experienced bankruptcy attorney can prevent these mistakes. An attorney can also protect you from being asked illegal or unwarranted questions by the bankruptcy trustee or your creditors.
Bankruptcy is an investment in your future. If done right, it will wipe out your debts and put you in a good position to start repairing your credit. Do not take risks by trying to file for bankruptcy on your own. Contact an Orlando bankruptcy attorney who can guide you through the process.