Risks of Filing Bankruptcy in Durham without an Attorney
According to a recent report, on average nationwide 9% of people file bankruptcy without using the services of an attorney. However, in some states, the percentage is as high as 28%. Unfortunately, these people face very serious risks. If you feel that bankruptcy in Durham is your only solution for getting out of debt, hiring a reputable attorney is strongly recommended.
A bankruptcy attorney in Durham will have the expertise needed to help. By choosing a legal professional who practices in this specific area of law, all the new local, state, and federal laws, as well as regulations required by the trustee overseeing the case will be fully understood. That alone eliminates some of the stress that you are already feeling.
Pitfalls of Going Pro Se
When bankruptcy is filed without the assistance of an attorney, it is known as “pro se”. Even for the less complicated Chapter 7, there are too many risks of not having an attorney working on your behalf. Examples of problems that can arise when filing bankruptcy in Durham without an attorney include:
- The wrong forms are filed or forms missed altogether
- The incorrect type of bankruptcy is filed
- Critical schedules are missed
Remember, employees of the court system and the bankruptcy judge are prohibited from providing any legal advice whatsoever. Without a qualified bankruptcy attorney in Durham, what might seem like a straightforward process can easily lead to a disastrous outcome.
For both a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Durham, property exemptions are critical. Although both types of bankruptcy are designed to help creditors recover debt owed, this does not automatically mean that you will lose all assets. However, by going pro se, vital property exemptions can be overlooked.
Mistakes are commonly made as to how a particular item of property is listed or valued, what the actual equity is in that property, and even statute citation. Because there are too many factors involved, you need a bankruptcy attorney in Durham who has the appropriate level of knowledge needed.
While discharge usually occurs without any problem for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in some cases there is risk of it being challenged. When this happens you may receive a complaint or motion specific to discharged items. To ensure the process of bankruptcy in Durham is as seamless as possible, you want an attorney fighting in your corner.
Self-representation can easily lead to misunderstandings. For instance, you may not realize how significant motions are, defense against any action seeking to deny discharge may be inadequate, or motions and/or responses might be filed incorrectly. The bottom line, without the assistance of an attorney for handling your bankruptcy in Durham case, too many risks exist.
When facing a serious financial situation, one of the best things you can do is gaining as much insight as possible. For this, you can use the free services of Bankruptcy-America or a local service in Durham.
[ii] Triangle Business Journal – http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/topic/bankruptcies/?page=12