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Should I hire an Attorney or File myself (Pro Se)?

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  • #16
    $2,000 may seem like a LOT, BUT if you have assets to protect (property, home, auto, 401K, etc) you best use a lawyer......

    $2,000 to wipe out $50-100,000 worth of debt safely, with few problems - IS WELL WORTH IT..............

    Do yourself a favor - start saving or discuss a payment plan with an attorney....


    "It's amazing the paths that our feet sometimes follow in life".

    My suggestions are from "personal experience" and research only. Do not consider this as legal advice. Each bankruptcy case is different.


    • #17
      Our 13 is going to be 2000. 1000 up front and the rest in the plan. I don't even prepare my own taxes, I sure wasn't going to try to do my own bankruptcy.


      • #18
        If you have no assets you want to keep that aren't CLEARLY covered by exemptions and your income is WELL below the median and you can EASILY show that your expenses use up all of your income... then yes, I'd just do it yourself and not worry about an attorney... This would be a slam dunk no asset chapter 7 case.

        Anything else, I'd pay an attorney. Also, keep in mind that when an attorney quotes you a fee for bankruptcy... it usually only includes services up to a point.

        For instance, my attorney is going to charge me $1750 + the filing fee of $274. He was very clear to me (a sign of a good attorney!) that this covers preparing the forms and everything else for filing... actually filing the bk, going to the 341 meeting with me... and just about nothing else. If any of my creditors object, the attorney will call me and say, "CreditorX objected... would you like us to represent you in this matter? The fees will be X/hour." So your fees can go up quite a bit if you have a difficult bankruptcy with a lot of objections. Of course you dont' HAVE to have your attorney handle these for you, you can try to manage them yourself... but I, personally, feel that it's exactly these types of situations that you NEED an attorney for!

        Good luck!
        Filed Ch. 7 Pro-Se: 10/12/06
        341: 11/6/06 (went AMAZINGLY well!)
        Discharge: 1/12/07


        • #19
          Under old laws, we paid $2200 for chapter 13, 600 down, 600 went he filed, the rest added to the BK.
          Filed Chapter 13: Aug 2004 Confirmed Aug 2005
          Early Buy-Out 43/60 months: April 2008 :clapping:
          Status: Case Closed Completed May 6-2008 :D
          Discharged: June 2008 :D:yes2::D


          • #20
            Going pro se

            I filed without an attorney in January 2006 and tomorrow (04/17) is the deadline for objections. I haven't heard anything yet so it seems all is well. I did not use an attorney after the initial free consultations because I couldn't afford my obligations let alone those plus getting money together for the attorney at the same time. Here you have to pay the attorney fees oplus court and filing fees before an attorney will file the paperwork for you. Not worth it for me!
            Filed Pro-se: 01/18/06
            341 meeting: 02/14/2006
            Objection Deadline: 04/17/06
            Discharge: 06/13/2006
            Closed: 06/21/2006

            Credit cards

            06/25/06, reopened a Discover that I closed before my bk, $1500 limit
            July 2006, Target Redcard $200 limit
            August 2006, Hooters MC $1750 limit


            • #21
              I started with a 13...

              ...that we did up on the computer but before my lawyer filed, I realized (with a boyfriend who's a always working...), there's no way I would have $ leftover after rent/ I frantically called after the weekend that I had filed & told him, in no uncertain terms, to switch me to a Chapter 7...

              He charged me $1,800 which I paid (rip off? I don't know...)and did not refund me the difference on what ch. 7 would have been.

              I do own a 2000 4Runner which is paid off/no payments...and I wanted to keep the truck. Had a lien on the title from Oct. 2004. I filed Oct. 2005. And, although in Florida, they could take the truck, I've heard nothing to that effect, yet. I have filed my taxes. Trustee does want copy of my return & my refund check; he'll send me back what's owed me from for Oct, Nov, & 3 mo. worth of refund...and if the truck issue does not resurface, then I'll put new tires on...hope it's soon 'cause I'd like to do it before hurricane season..but it doesn't make sense to send it off, if trustee wants it with four new tires, now, does it...always got to think when in bk!

              So, you can see, there's a lot of different ranges even within the ch.7...consultations are free...see as many professionals as you can..
              Filed Oct 2005discharged February 2007,Shapeless in the fire's glow, tell me if you think you know,
              Who it was we were below, where we've been and where we go


              • #22
                Ours was $2,200 in Aug 2004, 600.00 up front, 600.00 when he filed and the 1000.00 went into the payment plan.
                Filed Chapter 13: Aug 2004 Confirmed Aug 2005
                Early Buy-Out 43/60 months: April 2008 :clapping:
                Status: Case Closed Completed May 6-2008 :D
                Discharged: June 2008 :D:yes2::D


                • #23
                  Mine is at $3,500, and will end up between $5,000-$7,000. Worth every penny.


                  • #24
                    Mine will cost $1100 and I have three months to pay the fee. He said if I make steady payments, his office is willing to extend that 90 days if I need it. I'd never be able to understand all the forms and legalese myself so filing without an attorney was never an option for me. Plus, I can forward any collection calls to him which is a great load off my back. The peace of mind from those calls alone is worth the fee. Best thing is that he will also take care of any creditors that bother me after closing. He will only charge me if I decide to sue any creditors that continue to harrass me after the closing date.
                    Retained an Attorney to file 4/19/2006
                    Signed Paperwork with Attorney and filed 6/8/2006
                    341 Meeting scheduled for 8/1/2006 9:00AM -DONE
                    Discharged 10/24/2006


                    • #25
                      My Chapter 7 is going to cost $2000.
                      I thought about doing it on my own but with the new laws feel it is worth the extra peace of mind even though I'm going to have to save for it...

                      Attorney Fees:1655.00
                      Filing Fees: 299.00
                      Credit Councel/debt education fees 46.00
                      My BK attorney will not do a payment plan----could possibly discharge his fees otherwise as part of my BK! :-)


                      • #26
                        I did Chap. 7 by myself since I didn't have any money to pay. I did have enough money ($20) to purchase a "how to" book on eBay. It is by the Nolo Press and does a good job explaining things. Note that my case was a no-asset case. My 341 lasted just a few minutes and I was out the door, once again -- my case is no asset.

                        Pretty much no stress in filling out forms; spend some time reading through the postings in this forum -- this place is full of priceless advice! I wouldn't have been able to do this without the bk forum family ;)
                        Filed: October 13th, 2005
                        341: April 11th, 2006 (Took 6 mos.)
                        Discharged: May 31st, 2006
                        Closed: May 31st, 2006

                        Chapter 7


                        • #27

                          I inquired with an attorney about how much it'd cost several months before the new laws went into effect. He quoted me $800. I have $20,000 of debt.


                          • #28

                            by the way i have no assets whatsoever


                            • #29
                              I have seriously considered filing pro se. However, after reading this forum, I think it will be the best money I've ever spent (at least in a long time) and an investment into a stress free future.

                              Plus, I'm thinking that since the lawyer has to sign your filing and they could get fined for false information, that gives your application more credibility. But, on the other hand, I don't know if filing on your own gives you "less" credibility or any kind of "strike against you".
                              *** THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE--ONLY A LAWYER CAN PROVIDE THAT. ***

                              My posts represent hours of research on and off the web, these forums, my experience, and my opinions.


                              • #30
                                i have been thinking about filing bankruptcy but the fees are so expensive that i can't afford that. can a person do the same thing as an attorney with filing a bankruptcy case.


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