It is technically possible for a person or couple to file for bankruptcy without an attorney.
Would I ever advise anybody file a pro-se bankruptcy (pro–se means on their own, without an attorney)?
The answer is a resounding NO. Why? The answer lays in the very definition of pro-se. In all the important decisions regarding the filing you are on your own. In any legal issues that appear in the case you are on you own. In all aspects of the process past, present, and future you are on your own.
The bankruptcy laws are complex and the filing process complicated. An experienced bankruptcy attorney works to ensure that you receive the debt relief you need while helping you keep and protect you assets to the fullest extent of the law. Without the help and knowledge of an experienced bankruptcy attorney it is easy for the inexperienced pro-se filer to get into trouble. This may mean the loss of belongings that you wanted or needed to keep. In some cases it may mean the loss or denial of your discharge in bankruptcy, meaning you may never be able to get relief from the debt.
On a regular basis our office sees clients that have gotten themselves into a hard spot by trying to file on their own or by using a non-lawyer petition preparer. This almost always ends up costing the client more in fees than it would have had they come in to see us prior to filing. The small investment made in hiring a competent and experienced bankruptcy attorney to guide you through the process will ensure you receive the best possible outcome for your case.
I am sure you have all hard the old adage about an attorney that represents himself in a legal proceeding has a fool for a client. If an attorney, schooled and practiced in the legal process should hire an attorney to represent their interests in a legal proceeding, it stands to reason that anyone should.
Please feel free to call us now at 317-759-1483 or send us an email to schedule a free consultation with an attorney to review your personal situation.
About the Attorneys
Andrew Sawin received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University in 1989 and his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis in 1995. He has concentrated his practice in the field of Consumer Bankruptcy for the past 15 years.
Richard Shea graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona with a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management in 1995 and received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University School in 1998.
Larry Des Jardines graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Indiana University School of Law. Larry is a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association, the Indiana State Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.