If you are seriously considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it stands to reason that your financial situation is dire. The main reason that people would file for Chapter 7 without hiring an attorney is to avoid the attorney’s fees.
This is not a sound reason to try to file Chapter 7 pro se (without using Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys). Here are some of the common mistakes people make when filing Chapter 7 pro se.
Who is Ineligible for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
First, some people are ineligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Attempting to make this filing pro se and then discovering later that you are one of those who are ineligible is a costly error in more ways than one. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is for those who do not have the means to repay debts owed. In a successful ruling, Chapter 7 defendants do not have to repay existing debts. Their debt accounts are officially “wiped clean.” Before such a drastic ruling, however, the court does a careful and thorough means test of all the defendant’s assets, including cash on hand, outstanding future income, total debts owed, and assets owned. Those who are ruled ineligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy are those who do have some means available to them to make some kind of payments to their creditors. Because of the complex calculations that the court makes to determine who might be able to repay the debts, and who isn’t, it’s not recommended to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy without an attorney.
Two Common Mistakes Do People Make When Filing For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Without An Attorney
Here are some of the common mistakes that people make when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy pro se.
Filing For The Wrong Type Of Bankruptcy
There are very specific problems that Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are designed to solve. Besides that, some people are not eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. From the outset, an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney is recommended in order to help the defendant determine which kind of bankruptcy most appropriately suits their needs.
Filing at All
Filing for bankruptcy is a very serious step, with long-lasting ramifications that can affect a person’s credit for years to come. Bankruptcy should always be a last resort following arduous efforts to solve the financial situation some other way. With the help of a qualified bankruptcy attorney, a person who is considering bankruptcy may be able to take other actions that may help them avoid having to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the first place.
If you are considering your bankruptcy options, please contact the Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys of Clark & Washington today. We’ll be happy to offer a free consultation regarding your bankruptcy options.