Announcement

Collapse

Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

Welcome to the Bankruptcy Forum. Bankruptcy (BK) Forum is known as BKForum.com and will be referred to as BKF hereinafter. In order to ensure a long term success of our vibrant community, we have established certain rules and guidelines to which everyone must adhere to. Please take your time to carefully read our rules, before you start to participate in the community.

Things you agree to do:
BKFORUM.com (BKF) users agree to use the search function before starting a new thread. This prevents duplicate discussions and allows for better organized topics.

All BKF users agree to read the sticky posts which may be available at the top of a forum page. These Sticky posts often contain valuable information. They may also outline more rules and guidelines specific for that particular forum, stickies are put in place by that forums moderator(s) or admin(s).

Things you agree not to do:

All BKF users agree not to call people names or write a post simply to make a personal attack, or get a negative reaction; this behavior is not allowed on our forum. The use of derogatory language aimed at anyone will be severely dealt with. There is no need to agree with each other, or to even like each other. However, by signing onto BKForum.com you agree to treat each member and guest with the respect they deserve. No threats or personal attacks will be allowed.

All BKF users agree not to discuss, engage, or encourage any behavior or activity which violates the law. Discussion of drugs, violence, murder, theft, vandalism, fraud or any other issue which could be used to help individuals break the law is strictly forbidden.

All BKF users agree not to "bump" old threads, unless there is a specific benefit to the community by doing so. But in most cases, please don't post in very old threads, instead start new threads.

All BKF users agree not to attempt/use another members account. It is against BKF rules to use any account other than your own. Impersonating another member will result in an immediate ban. It is also against the rules to open more than one account in your own name without permission from a moderator or administrator. If you have been banned for any reason, it is against the rules to open another account. If you were banned temporarily and you are caught using another account you will be banned permanently. Choosing a moniker which is similar in either sound or spelling as a moderator or administrator is strictly forbidden.

All BKF users agree not to private message any moderator, admin, or other member with questions related to their personal circumstances (Questions about the forum or issues with the forum are ok). This forum only works when members share their experience and insights with everyone.

Things you agree not to post:
All BKF users agree not to post any derogatory/racist/or sexist remarks. This includes attachments, links and all information contained within posts, signatures, and avatars, failure to comply with this rule will result in a permanent ban.

All BKF users agree not to post any copyrighted or trademarked information without the express written permission of the owner(s) / proper citation of source.

All BKF users agree not to post any real names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, social security numbers, or any other personal details (their own or other people's).

All BKF users agree not to post links, pictures, attachments, videos, or the like of pornographic content, objectionable material or extreme violence, whether cartoon or real.

All BKF users agree not to use BKF for advertising purposes without a written contract between yourself/company/agent and the administration of BKF. Blatant advertising will result in a ban.

All BKF users agree not to spam the forums. Spam includes but is not limited to posting erroneous, non-relevant-useless, off-topic, or meaningless posts. Spam may also include posts which contain no text, or large areas of blank space between lines. Simply posting emoticons without text is considered spam. BKF is the largest bankruptcy message board and all the content is intended to help other users. Please help us improve the quality of our forum by making sure that your posts are well-worded, spell checked, grammatically correct and syntaxed.

Regarding actions of moderators and administrators:

The forum is no place to air out your opinion or be judgmental of our staff and its capabilities.

All BKF users agree not to abuse or mistreat moderators or administrators. It is against BKF rules to post any information regarding bans or any other action taken by a member of the moderating or administrative team. If you wish to discuss bans or warnings please do so via PM. To place a complaint against a moderator, send a PM to a super moderator. All Moderators are equal, any decision made by a moderator must be adhered to. If a moderator tells you something you do not like, do not go to another moderator looking for a different answer. If you are caught doing this you will be banned. The moderators work as a team and respect the decisions made by their peers and will help enforce them unless an administrator tells them differently.
If you have an issue with how the forum is run, then notify one of our administrator and we will look into the situation. We have in the past and still do appreciate any input that you offer this forum. But critical input and/or judgmental postings towards the staff will result in you getting banned.


Should you find a thread offensive or out of line, then notify a Mod in a PM so they can evaluate the situation and do the action deemed necessary.

All moderators do have active "other" lives outside of the forum and help moderate this forum in their spare time throughout the days and weeks.

If you have a problem with a member or Mod follow the proper channels of reporting it.

BKF reserves the right to delete any posts which contain anti-BKF comments or discussion. Any bashing of moderators or administrators, or any of their discussion or actions will also be deleted, and the responsible posting party(s) will be banned. Any public anti-BKF advertising, communication, or posts on another forum will result in permanent bans as well.

All warnings and bans are decided by individual moderators and administrators. Warnings are preferable to bans however, for serious offenses and repeat abusers bans will go into effect. The length of the bans can vary from several hours to permanent.

All messages posted or sent including through PM are the property of BKforum.com.

All BKF users agree not to advertiser on the forum (Niether by posting, private messaging or using your signature). If you are a company/attorney/legal adviser wishing to advertise on the site or sell a product, you must contact the head administrator and inquire about our advertising packages.

All bankruptcy related opinions expressed on BKForum.com are those of their authors and not necessarily of BKF, its staff or representatives.

You agree not to copy any material/post/content from BKF without written permission from our head administrator .

By posting on this forum you agree to these terms and conditions, including any punishment deemed appropriate by moderators or administrators in the event of an offense.

Administrators/Moderators can change these rules at any time without prior notice.
See more
See less

To pro se or not to pro se ... ?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • To pro se or not to pro se ... ?

    Hey folks,

    I was laid off 4 months ago and haven't been able to keep up the minimum payments on my debt I was making. So, I have been researching chapter 7 and I had it all made up in my mind to Pro Se my case, and then went onto some 'ask a lawyer' site -- avvo.com I think. I asked if it was feasible to file chapter 7 myself and they kinda scared the crap out of me. Talking about how it's a minefield, 80 pages of detailed paperwork I can screw up so easy, etc.

    I figured I'd come here for maybe the other perspective -- or even to hear if you think they are right.

    I don't own a house or a car, and only have a small 1900 tax refund plus unemployment to my name. I own clothes, an xbox, (no TV tho ) some books, a 5 year old computer and a few small home furnishings. My debt is all consumer credit, some from a long time ago (was laid off in 2009 for a year and did dumb stuff like put my mortgage on my credit cards)--I've been carrying this debt for a while. It's about 35k at this point.

    Honestly my biggest mistake was probably not filing bankruptcy back then when I was out of work for a year. I cashed out my 401k, sold my beautiful house, sold my stuff, did it all to keep up with that debt. Anyhow that's water under the bridge.

    To my halfway informed eye, it seems like one of the simpler ch. 7 scenarios (not that I'm underestimating it), but wow those Avvo lawyers made it seem like I was a complete idiot for even considering it.

    I'd really appreciate hearing some thoughts. I'd be filing in NYC, easter district I believe.

    Thanks,
    Sarah

  • #2
    Everyone will say that any lawyer or person that represents themselves has a fool for a client. I am such a fool, I suppose.

    It really depends on the complexity and type of case as well as and how much property there is to protect (or potentially lose). I would go purchase the NoLo Guide to Filing Bankruptcy and give that a good read. You may be able to borrow one from a local library, but make sure it's the latest version. I purchased the NoLo guide as an eDocument and downloaded it to use as my reference.

    Many people have done "simple" Chapter 7s without any issues at all. The issues come when there is undeclared or undiscovered property, actual property for which there is no exemption, and other things. Many people also use a service to complete their forms or do the painstaking... yes... 50-80 pages of documentation required. It can be done. (My Chapter 13 petition was exactly 70 pages prior to being amended.)

    I used an online service to complete my forms. They were about 90% accurate and I had to make some changes. (They had some math errors). i also needed to buy PDF editing software (not cheap "free" software) which cost me $79-99. You could also experiment with obtaining a "trial" copy of Adobe but you may be better off buying. You could also enlist a document preparer, but be aware that they do not provide advice and can only fill out your forms for filing. The nice thing is that some of the document preparers are paralegals and actually use the same software as many attorneys use (Best Case, Bankrupter, etc).
    Last edited by justbroke; 03-07-2017, 05:08 PM.
    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


    I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

    Comment


    • #3
      It sounds to me like your case is very similar to mine, which I filed pro-se without incident. I didn't own a house, car, retirement account, or anything else which I needed the services of an attorney to protect, and I didn't have any debts which are difficult or impossible to discharge, either. It sounds like you should be able to handle this yourself, using the book "How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy" by NOLO Press, and the resources available on this forum.

      Remember, that it only makes sense to pay for an attorney if you have valuable assets to protect, or your case has added complexities which justify the cost. For a "cut and dry" case, I'd save my money and do it myself.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks so much for your input, guys. justbroke -- what was the online service you had? I have a PDF editor already, so that's good news. Are document preparer people very expensive? I will look it up!

        I appreciate your objective advice here. I'm going to get that eBook and start seriously preparing. Thank you!

        Comment


        • #5
          You can do it. You just need to be patient and detail-oriented. Mine was slightly more complicated than yours and I had no issues, but I did spend a lot of time researching and learning before I started completing the paperwork. Anything NOLO doesn't answer for you can be answered here or by internet searches. I too was thrown into doubt by an AVVO answerer but am glad I came to my senses and realized he was wrong (he essentially told me I was in over my head for even asking the question). I really wanted to go back and tell him how wrong he was later but the question was closed. Take your time, be honest in the paperwork, and know it will take a while to complete it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by laidoff View Post
            Thanks so much for your input, guys. justbroke -- what was the online service you had? I have a PDF editor already, so that's good news. Are document preparer people very expensive?
            I won't mention them because there were actual errors on my forms (not introduced by myself) -- mathematical errors in their calculations and wrong entries transposed. I haven't used a document preparer (paralegal), but they should be less than $300. Most Trustees will ask you if you used a paid preparer at your 341 Meeting. They must disclose themselves on the filing itself or they can face penalties. The courts have been cracking down on the serial abusers that are also practicing law without authorization (giving advice or making legal decisions with these document preparations).

            If you choose to use a preparer, just do some legwork and make sure they are legitimate, ask them what software they use, and ask them if they'll handle corrections on any of their errors. My company did not handle any of corrections (I did them myself), and they seemed to use their own home-grown system that put the petition together. If the preparer uses Best Case or Bankrupter then you'll probably have a better outcome with the documents than I had.

            You may also be able to get help from your Court's Pro Bono clinic. I'm finding more bankruptcy courts with a Pro Bono clinic available where you can get free legal advice (from actual attorneys).

            Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
            Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
            Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


            I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

            Comment


            • #7
              Don't get the e-book. Get the real, physical book. You will find yourself needing to refer to it, while you are filling out your petition and schedules.

              Comment


              • #8
                I know this post is a few months old, but since others will read it, I'll just add my vote for pro se, as long as you have a fairly simple case and feel comfortable doing a LOT of research and not being afraid to ask questions, here or even with the court.

                Mine went smoothly although it took a couple extra months to get dischared because initially I had planned on reaffirming my two auto loans which meant needing an extra hearing. At that hearing, the judge was very helpful and gave me some good advice about not needing to reaffirm those loans. In the end, I asked her to deny those reaffirmations and I was discharged a few weeks later. I was lucky, the court here in Hartford, CT was very helpful and friendly. The people in the clerks office answered all the procedural questions I had, and when I inevitably messed up my paperwork, they explained what I did wrong and let me change things either on the spot or by just faxing in the change later.

                Your mileage may vary.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hey folks, just to update -- I went the Pro Se route and am sure glad I did. I don't have a regular job and no kids etc so I had the time to do the paperwork. I filed and today had my 341!!

                  It all went super smoothly and I am officially now in the 60 day club! If anyone wants any information about how it went, just let me know. I am SO THANKFUL to all of your for your amazing advice. It saved me $1000 that i really needed!

                  Comment

                  Unconfigured Ad Widget

                  Collapse
                  Working...
                  X