Can you represent yourself in bankruptcy?
I got a nervous call the other day from a crying lady to talk to me urgently. She told me that her home is taxes are not accepted by the county as she had filed bankruptcy and her property is sent to foreclosure because of non payment of taxes. She filed bankruptcy through a bank mill of local attorneys who files her bankruptcy without informing her of her exemptions and the impact of bankruptcy upon her. Of course she should not have filed chapter 13 as she did not qualify for chapter 13 having not enough income. One can file bankruptcy either yourself or though a production attorney shot. Basically it would be much difference as both work would be identical. Here, the attorney mill had deprived her of her basic right of exemption. Of course you can file your own bankruptcy, and it is perfectly legal to file your own bankruptcy without a lawyer. You can represent yourself in any court. At least that is the law. Again, even in the premises of Clark County District Court, there is a help desk helping pro se plaintiffs and defendants.
The bankruptcy papers are complicated and even experienced attorneys has problems filling out properly. If you have a complicated debt situation, it becomes all the more imperative to be more knowledgeable in these matters. However, knowledge cannot be obtained by reading few posts and getting the help of a paralegal who can provide a glorified typing service. There are plethora of forms and one needs to file electronically these days. You need to file and obtain counseling certificates. If you miss a creditor, he/she can come after you and sue you again.
Do you know the basic jargon of bankruptcy. It is not something which you can learn overnight and just fill in the blank spaces. Remember attorney went to few years schools and passed the most difficult bar examination tests. You need to list all the schedules, your assets and income and also to pass the means test. There are wide variety of papers to be included in your bankruptcy petition, and even the lack of filing of one paper can cause major problems and non dischargeability of your debts. In a chapter 13 case, you need to submit a plan which is very technical and your trustee would frown upon you if you make any mistake. Also, you need to handle and answer objections from chapter 13 trustee.