11 Apr Just One More Time For The Record: Think, Twice, Thrice, Many More Times Before You Ever Decide To Represent Yourself!
There are several articles throughout BLN that tell you about why you should not represent yourself. This is so important that I am going to remind you again about why you probably do not want to take a chance and represent yourself. In fact I think all us will continue to tell you stories of why you probably do not want to represent yourself because the consequences may be criminal!I was in a 341 Meeting of Creditors today and there was a nice lady there who was representing herself. When you represent yourself the trustee is not going to care whether or not you know or even understand the law. The trustee is not going to care who assisted you with the paperwork and whether or not they understood the law. The bottom line is if you are going to be filing a legal document in a legal proceeding you are going to be held to the same level as any other attorney.
In this case this lady left off about $4,000 worth of cash and assets. In addition she transfered property that was not declared. In addition she used the wrong exemptions to protect her property. So in the end when you add non declared assets plus non declared transfers plus wrong exemptions your result is a referral to the United States Trustee for review. It is then up to the United States Trustee to decide whether or not criminal charges will be sought for bankruptcy fraud.
This lady was trying to save a little bit of money to get out of debt but now it will not only cost her to pay out the non-exempt assets but it may also cost her more in attorney’s fees to remedy the situation and to keep her out of jail for bankruptcy fraud.
Please, please, please think about all your options before using a petition preparer or handling the case yourself. By law I must advise anyone that comes to my office that they can handle it themselves or use a petition preparer but I also advise them of the possible consequences.
If you cannot afford to file bankruptcy contact your local Legal Aid Office to see if they can handle your case for free. If not but yourself on a budget so that you can afford to hire an attorney to handle your legal matter because the consequence may end up costing you your freedom!
Cost of Petition Preparer = $500
Cost of time to appear in front of Trustee and US Trustee = 2 days off from work maybe more
Chance to save some pennies by not hiring an attorney —-> WORTHLESS!
Why using a Petition Preparer does not save you money.
Bankruptcy is just filling out forms, right?
Two sites that offered automated bankruptcy assistance shut down.
Should I use a petition preparer?
How can I afford to file bankruptcy?
Written by Rachel Lynn Foley