Can I hire someone to file for bankruptcy for me? 37 Answers as of August 11, 2011

I dont have time to fill out all the necessary paperwork for bankruptcy. Is it possible to hire someone to do it if I gathered all of my information? I need to know the potential risks of doing so.

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Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
Yes, you should hire a Bankruptcy attorney
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/11/2011
Heupel Law
Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
Yes, you can hire a petition preparer who will draft the petition and then you’ll need to finish the process. Or you can hire an attorney who will draft the petition, file it with the court, and then attend the meeting of creditors with you.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/9/2011
Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law
Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law | Eric Benzer
Yes
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 8/6/2011
Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
Yes, hiring someone to file for you is often called "retaining an attorney". I would suggest an attorney and be very careful about having paralegals or other services offer to do the paperwork.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 8/4/2011
Law Office of Asaph Abrams
Law Office of Asaph Abrams | Asaph Abrams
Yes, and one should. It's not merely about time-saving; the potential risks are case-specific and must be hunted down by the attorney. It is incumbent upon the debtor himself to personally gather substantial information, which would be in the possession of, or accessible by the debtor. An attorney would direct the debtor as to what to gather and where to gather it. So really bankruptcy's very anthropological, it's a collaborative hunting and gathering kind of thing. This answer (as well as our Web site) doesn't address all facts & implications of the question; it's general info, not legal advice to be relied upon; it creates no attorney-client relationship; it may be pertinent to CA only; it's independent of other answers. Hire legal counsel before acting or refraining from bankruptcy/legal action
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/3/2011
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
    I am happy to help you with your filing.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Ray Fisher Law Offices
    Ray Fisher Law Offices | Ray Fisher
    Yes. Most people hire a lawyer to represent them in bankruptcy, and that is really the best way to go.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Breckenridge and Walton
    Breckenridge and Walton | Alan D. Walton
    That would be an attorney. No one else is competent to assist you as you describe. A non attorney petition preparer will fill out the forms without any knowledge of the legal consequences of what they do - just like you - they did not have the time to become an attorney, so they charge you for making the same mistakes you would if you had the time.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    A bankruptcy preparer service can type your papers. These are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice. You should consult an attorney, particularly if you own any property at all.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    Only a lawyer can advise you on how to fill out and file your bankruptcy petition
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    Hiring someone to prepare and file the bankruptcy petition is exactly what you need to do and the safest way to do it. You need to hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney in the area where you live. Only a lawyer can help you fill out the forms properly, file them for you and represent you at the meeting of creditors you need to attend plus be there to protect your interests before the bankruptcy court in case of complications.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    There are numerous document preparers which will prepare the paperwork for you. The court takes the position that they should charge no more than $150 to do so, although many attempt to.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    About the same as buying the bricks and hiring a 10 year old to build a brick house. Bankruptcy is more than just filling out forms. There are legal consequences, including the bankruptcy trustee taking real or personal property which may occur if not done correctly. A company which completes bankruptcy papers cannot give you that advice as it is the practice of law.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    You should hire an attorney to represent you in this. We handle them all the time and at very reasonable prices.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Raxter Law
    Raxter Law | Jeremiah Raxter
    When you hire a bankruptcy attorney the service they provide (in addition to giving you legal advice) is preparing the Bankruptcy petition.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Tucker Legal Clinic
    Tucker Legal Clinic | Samuel Tucker
    You need to go to a bankruptcy lawyer. In some jurisdictions there "Petition Preparers" who provide this service. You will have to spend some of your time on this regardless.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
    No, I don't recommend that you "hire" someone to file bankruptcy for you. You are swearing to the truth and accuracy of the documents that are filed. If someone were to file false or incomplete information on your behalf, your bankruptcy discharge could be denied, and you could be prosecuted for bankruptcy fraud and/or perjury. If you don't have time to fill out the necessary paperwork, even with the help of a competent bankruptcy attorney, I suggest you just forget it. You must not need to file bankruptcy very badly. Thank you,
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Florio Law Firm, PLLC
    Florio Law Firm, PLLC | Amber Morgan Florio, Attorney at Law
    I highly advise hiring a licensed attorney to file a bankruptcy on your behalf. Most Bankruptcy attorneys offer FREE legal consultations.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr.
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr. | John J. Ferry, Jr.
    I've worked with some bankruptcy clients handling most aspects by email and phone calls. There's not much that the client has to fill out. Usually I get all the information I need by talking with the client.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    Lawyers do this for people all the time.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    Yes. Retain a bankruptcy lawyer. You'll still have to gather the documents, but one should always have a lawyer file.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    You should hire a lawyer to file the case. No one except you can or should compile the needed information. Remember that if any of your information is false, you could lose assets, be denied a discharge, and could even go to federal prison for five years. So it would be exceptional foolish to try and have someone else help you. Additionally, if someone did, you would have to report the fees paid to them to the Court, and they would have to give you certain required statutory disclosures as they would be considered by law as a Debt Relief Agency. If you need to file, you do not have time not to make time to gather your information. That is your first priority.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Mankus & Marchan, LTD
    Mankus & Marchan, LTD | Tony Mankus
    It is highly recommended that you retainer an attorney to help you prepare the paperwork for bankruptcy and help you through the process. Bankruptcy is complex and full of pitfalls for the unwary.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Law Office of Xochitl Anita Quezada
    Law Office of Xochitl Anita Quezada | Xochitl Anita Quezada
    If you are talking about hiring someone who is not an attorney then it is a risk in and of itself. I have seen and heard of so many petitions that have problems when not prepared by an attorney. Remember, you get what you pay for so beware.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Yes, you hire an attorney, a bankruptcy attorney, since you want this done right. You wouldn't do your own dentistry, why on earth would you practice law by yourself? The risk is in not hiring someone (an attorney) to handle your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    You can hire an attorney to fill out everything for you, or you can hire a document preparer. A document preparer is not an attorney, and is not licenced to practice law, therefore they can simply input the information you provide to them onto the forms. In bankruptcy, there is a lot more to know than just filling in blank forms. There are exemptions, allowances, and the like that need to be addressed, and a bankruptcy attorney is equipped to handle this.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Kalra Law Firm
    Kalra Law Firm | Madhu Kalra
    I am not sure, what it means, you are busy. You would need to provide all the necessary information necessary for your petition, schedules, statement of financial affairs.However, you would need to appear in person before the bankruptcy trustee to attest all the information, you have provided in your bankruptcy petition. There is no escape from it. No one else can appear on your behalf. Personal attendance is required at creditors meeting. Your attorney can appear with you. Its only one time appearance, most likely, unless, your case is continued due to some reason. However, there is no escape from the mandatory appearance at 341(a) hearing, if you want to take advantage of bankruptcy laws.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law | Robert G. Uriarte
    I assume you are asking if you can hire a non-lawyer. The answer is yes, but you should be wary of individuals who do not know what they are doing. Spend the extra money and hire experienced counsel to get you through the process. There are many pitfalls for the unwary.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    If they make a mistake or don't get it right, the error falls on you. You have to sign under penalty of perjury that the information is true and accurate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Grasso Law Group
    Grasso Law Group | Charles Grasso, Esq.
    Actually it is usually best to hire an attorney to help you file and process your bankruptcy case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    You can hire an attorney to represent you and give her all the information for the petition.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Law Office of Eric Ridley
    Law Office of Eric Ridley | Eric Ridley
    You can hire a licensed preparer, but it won't cost you much more to hire licensed attorney, who can advise you, and who will have more experience in these issues.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    You should hire an experienced attorney to assist you with filing for bankruptcy. There are numerous risks if you chose to file without one.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC | Richard James Symmes
    Yes, you may hire a bankruptcy attorney, however you will have to provide your attorney with all of the necessary paperwork including paystubs and questionnaire.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/1/2011
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