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Bankruptcy Attorney - Needed or Not?

candykis_41
Established Member

Bankruptcy Attorney - Needed or Not?

I have chosen to go the route of obtaining an attorney to file my bankruptcy.  However, from others that have filed - what are your thoughts on this?  Is an attorney really needed?  Or, can one go it alone and be just fine?

BK13 Filed: 6/5/2017
341 Mtg: 7/14/17
Plan confirmed: 8/22/17
Starting score: 670 (mid/late 2013)
Married end of 2014, with a starting score of about 620 (spouse could not work .5 of 2015 and a little more than .5 of 2016)
Not enough financial assistance from spouse has landed me with Current Score: 487 (Mar 2017)
post BK discharge Goal Score: ??
Message 1 of 12
11 REPLIES 11
DaveInAZ
Senior Contributor

Re: Bankruptcy Attorney - Needed or Not?

I like to save money as much as the next person, and from working in business management I'm fairly familiar with legal documents. But in most cases you're getting rid of tens of thousands of dollars in debt, so is it really worth the risk of screwing that up? One mis-filed form can end up with your case dismissed, so I decided an attorney was a good investment.

Message 2 of 12
wa3more
Established Contributor

Re: Bankruptcy Attorney - Needed or Not?

I'm with dave. I have much experience with reviewing legal documents but would not BK on my  own.

 

an old legal saying - a person who represents themselves has a fool for a client ?

Message 3 of 12
sarge12
Valued Contributor

Re: Bankruptcy Attorney - Needed or Not?


@candykis_41 wrote:

I have chosen to go the route of obtaining an attorney to file my bankruptcy.  However, from others that have filed - what are your thoughts on this?  Is an attorney really needed?  Or, can one go it alone and be just fine?


I would not even consider going through BK without an attorney, anymore than I would remove my appendix without a surgeon.

TU fico08=831 03/29/21
EX fico08=830 04/13/21
EQ fico09=840 04/01/21
EX fico09=828 04/03/21
EQ fico bankcard08=858 03/23/21
TU Fico Bankcard 08=867 02/23/21
EQ NG1 fico=802 01/21/21
EQ Resilience index score=58 03/09/21
Unknown score from EX=784 used by Cap1 07/10/20
Message 4 of 12
kberly69
Frequent Contributor

Re: Bankruptcy Attorney - Needed or Not?

I'm going to be the lone soul who says yes (well, depending upon the circumstances). I went pro se and had zero problems. I was even given very nice compliments by the trustee on the thoroughness of my paperwork and the fact that I was "one of the few" who followed the instructions on what to bring to the 341 meeting. I filed Chapter 7, no asset. I do think if it gets more complicated than that you may want to reconsider. You have to be organized and detail oriented and don't kid yourself if you're not. You also need the time to do it right. If you're wanting to file in a hurry, that just leads to bad decisions and mistakes. It's really about getting a ton of info together and following directions strictly. I highly recommend the NOLO book on Chapter 7 and forums like this and others to help when you get stuck.That book was my bible for a couple months while I prepared to file and while going through it.


CH7 BK Discharged 10/16
Oct/Nov 2016: EQ 632 TU 532 EX 573
Feb 2017: EQ 695 TU 673 EX 670
March 2017 EQ 702 TU 676 EX 673
April 2017 EX 683 (TU & EQ unknown)
May 2017 EQ 695 TU 685 EX 693
Feb 2018 EQ 704 TU 687 EX 694

9/24/20: 4 years from discharge FICO 8: EQ 751 EX 765 TU 766 FICO 9 EQ 814 EX 804 TU 821
Message 5 of 12
StartingOver10
Moderator Emerita

Re: Bankruptcy Attorney - Needed or Not?

JMO, I wouldn't file BK without an attorney.  Like the others, I too am familiar with legal documents, but a good attorney is a true asset (pun intented) Smiley Happy

I do think if you have a very simple case and truly no assets (none), you might be able to file yourself. However, it is generally an emotional time and ripe for errors. 

 

Having said the above, not all Bk attorney's are the same. Some are good - some aren't. Take your time to interview several if you are going to file - find a good one and stay away from the "Bk mills".  Again, JMO. 

Message 6 of 12
joe8185
Valued Contributor

Re: Bankruptcy Attorney - Needed or Not?

I believe you should always consult a bankruptcy attorney before deciding whether to file BK, and here's a good reason why; virtually every reputable BK attorney I know of will give you an initial consultation for free, where you'll review the relevant information with them and they'll reach a determination as to whether filing BK is advisable for you. Most county bar associations and legal-aid services maintain referral services for this and other types of attorneys.

Ch 7 BK discharged 11/28/14, credit rebuild well advanced. FICO:TU 680 FICO 8 (3/2/19) or 687 FICO 9/EX 694 FICO 8/EQ 685 FICO 8 or 674 FICO 9 (NFCU 3/3/19), VS 3.0 10/17/18: TU 702/EX 699/EQ 698. $92.9k revolving credit as of 1/31/19; $1K NFCU cashRewards Visa, $2K BJ's Perks MC, $5.1k Discover It #1, $6.5k Discover It #2 (new 3/12/18), $3.5k Petal Visa, $6k Paypal 2% CB MC, $6k Amazon Prime Store Card, $6k Walmart Store Card, $7k Apple FCU Platinum Visa, $7k Penfed Power Cash Rewards Visa, $11.8k Overstock Store Card, $15K Care Credit, $16K Cap One QS Rewards Visa Signature, $10k PenFed used car loan, $5k Navient student loan, $12.7k Lending Club loan. Gardening: 3 months, 19 days as of 1/31/19. 24 HP inqs total as of 10/12/18: 10 TU, 9 EQ, 5 EX (about half over 1 year old).
Message 7 of 12
candykis_41
Established Member

Re: Bankruptcy Attorney - Needed or Not?

Thanks for your reply.  And, no, I am not kidding myself.  I am not organized enough (detail oriented, very much so).  If I were filing for 7 (and it was simple), I probably would try to wing it.  However, with filing 13, I don't want anything to go wrong, especially that I am trying to save my house and vehicle.  Good advice.  As soon as I decided I wanted to file for BK, I sought out sites for help (such as this one) and the NOLO site, as well as a couple of others, to get info and take notes.

BK13 Filed: 6/5/2017
341 Mtg: 7/14/17
Plan confirmed: 8/22/17
Starting score: 670 (mid/late 2013)
Married end of 2014, with a starting score of about 620 (spouse could not work .5 of 2015 and a little more than .5 of 2016)
Not enough financial assistance from spouse has landed me with Current Score: 487 (Mar 2017)
post BK discharge Goal Score: ??
Message 8 of 12
Backwoods
Senior Contributor

Re: Bankruptcy Attorney - Needed or Not?

If you trying to save a house and car yes get a bk attorney.   

Message 9 of 12
Grafton88
Established Contributor

Re: Bankruptcy Attorney - Needed or Not?

I would say not only get a bankruptcy attorney but find the best one in your area.  I paid about $1300 in initial fees.  When I look at what my debt was and what my monthly payments were in comparison to others I think it turned out to be a very good deal.

 

They also make the process very easy to understand.  They knew which forms had to be filed and what records I needed.  I felt very positive going into my hearing.

 

It is one of the biggest decisions of your life.  Get the best people behind you and good luck.

Message 10 of 12
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