Roughly 6% of bankruptcy filers attempt to file bankruptcy pro se, that is, without the help of a bankruptcy lawyer. The temptation certainly makes sense…you’re already worried about money, and you might be afraid that you don’t have the means to pay a lawyer.
Yet attempting to file bankruptcy yourself is usually a deadly financial mistake. Here are the relevant statistics.
Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Pro Se
On its surface, a Chapter 7 case is less complicated than a Chapter 13 case, but unfortunately, appearances can be deceiving.
Less than half of the borrowers who file a bankruptcy petition pro se were successful in receiving a discharge in Chapter 7 cases. Contrast that to the 93.9% of borrowers who received a discharge when represented by an attorney.
Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Pro Se
Chapter 13 cases are extremely complex and require ongoing maintenance. The case takes three to five years to complete.
Only about 2% off all pro se Chapter 13 cases come to a successful conclusion when borrowers try to represent themselves. Partnering with an attorney raises those odds to 39%, and gives you options if things start going wrong—for example, you may be able to convert a failing Chapter 13 case into a successful Chapter 7.
The Dangers of Bankruptcy Dismissal
A bankruptcy case usually fails by way of dismissal: that is, the court throws out the case.
Once a bankruptcy case is dismissed, the automatic stay comes to an immediate end. You won’t receive your discharge, and you;ll have to wait before you can file again.
In addition, you’ll only receive a 30 day automatic stay after filing for bankruptcy a second time.
Worse would be if the court determines, because you made some mistake, that you were attempting to commit bankruptcy fraud. This outcome could not only lead to case dismissal, but to criminal charges.
Get Help Today
Don’t leave the outcome of your bankruptcy case to chance. You deserve a financial fresh start.
Working with a bankruptcy attorney is more affordable than you can probably imagine. For example, your first consultation with our office is absolutely free.
If you need help, don’t hesitate. Contact us today.