Why do I need an attorney?
Many people file a bankruptcy pro se, or self-represented, with the assumption that they cannot afford to use an attorney. Some of those cases go by without a hitch. Other cases can become a nightmare for the pro se filer that even an attorney may not be able to remedy. Many people go to document preparers to help them with a bankruptcy. While it is possible that a document preparer can prepare a case for you, all that they can legally do is simply fill out forms; anything more and they are practicing law without a license. While a document preparer’s fees cannot exceed $200, the question you have to ask yourself is whether your case is simple enough (and you have little or no assets to lose) to be prepared without proper legal advice. Better yet, ask yourself the following: Would you rather see the dentist when your tooth aches or see his receptionist and hope she/he can help? Simply stated, sometimes you need to pay for a job well done by someone who will back his/her work. If a document preparer makes a mistake and you lose your car, you have lost your car. While you may have recourse by suing the document preparer his/her defense is simple: no legal advice was provided. All that was done was filling out forms to be filed. If a bankruptcy attorney makes a mistake, the attorney has a professional responsibility to correct the mistake or make sure you are given every benefit available to you by the bankruptcy code.