Can I file bankruptcy on my own? 17 Answers as of March 29, 2012

I want to file bankruptcy because I have a lot of unsecured debts and my ex-husband is asking me for the share of the house we once owned. I don’t have much money to hire a lawyer. Can I do it on my own without the help of an attorney?

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Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
It is legal to file bankruptcy without an attorney, but it is a bad idea. Hiring a certified specialist in bankruptcy law to represent you is a much better idea. If you represent yourself, you may make mistakes that can not be fixed. These mistakes can cause you to lose money and assets, lose your discharge, or even be subjected to criminal prosecution.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/29/2012
Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law
Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law | Phil Boardman
Yes, but not advisable.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 3/26/2012
Law Office of Jeffrey Solomon
Law Office of Jeffrey Solomon | Jeffrey Solomon
You are legally permitted to file on your own, but you should at least be able to obtain a free consultation from an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/23/2012
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
It is not required but recommended that you hire an Atty.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 3/22/2012
Debt Relief Law Center | Roger J. Bus
Very, very difficult to do on your own unless you are willing to study, read, and fully understand not only the bankruptcy law but also know how to correctly fill out all the needed schedules that have to be filed along with knowing what the specific trustee requirements are. Much easier to shop around for an inexpensive bankruptcy attorney- call around- don't hire the first one who quotes you a fee unless you know he/she is reasonable. In my view, it can be a very costly mistake to do your own case in order to save $500 or so.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/22/2012
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    An individual can file a bankruptcy on their own behalf. There are self-help books such as the one from Nolo Press that can be found in major bookstores or the library. If you are going to prepare your own bankruptcy you should definitely bring you filled out papers to an attorney to review before filing. Many attorneys will give your a free or low cost consultation in this regard. Another choice is to hire a bankruptcy preparer which is a secretarial service to type the papers. They are allowed to charge only approximately $150 by law. If you use a bankruptcy preparer you still should have an attorney review it before filing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy | Dan Wilson
    Very bad idea. Many pro se cases fail because it is very complex. Talk to an attorney. Most of us do free consultations.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    You can file "pro se" but be careful that you do not take the wrong exemptions or file improperly because your case will be dismissed or you may leave your assets open to be seized.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    You're allowed to, but then you're allowed to do your own dentistry also. You're doing it once in your life - do it right. The peace of mind alone is worth it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    Yes, you can file the case without an attorney but be careful. It sounds like there is equity in your home and you could lose it to the court if you cannot protect it. Your ex spouse can also lose his share if you file and do not have the right exemptions. You really need to be careful. You might want to finish the divorce case and finalize the buyout as ordered by the court on the home first before you file the case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    You can, but it sounds like you have some issues which could prejudice you if not done correctly.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    The Barger Law Firm
    The Barger Law Firm | Jason W. Barger
    It is very difficult to do. How much time do you have? Do you have access to a good law library? Contact the Legal Hotline for Texas (800.622.2520) and they should refer you to an attorney in your area that will help you for a reduced rate.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    People do, but you just said you and your husband own a house. Never file on your own if you have assets which have equity.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Jackie Ferguson Graham
    The bankruptcy forms are on the Bankruptcy Court's website. You can use them to file your own bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    Yes, it is possible to file bankruptcy without an attorney. However, I do not recommend it due to the complexity of filing bankruptcy. I suggest you retain a bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE).
    CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE). | Gary Lee Lane
    Yes but a bad idea. You may miss something vital
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/20/2012
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