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So-Called “Do-It-Yourself” Bankruptcy Can Make Your Debt Problems Worse

If you are dealing with debt and creditor harassment, you might benefit from filing for bankruptcy. Most people, even those without financial problems, understand the basics of bankruptcy. If financial strain reaches the point where bankruptcy is your best option, you might be tempted to go it alone. It is possible to file for bankruptcy without the assistance of an attorney, but in nearly every case, it is not advisable.

The temptation to file for on our own comes from the investment needed for legal bankruptcy assistance. Filing for bankruptcy costs money, even if you do no seek the support of an attorney. There are fees associated with your initial filing, as well as if you want to make changes or reopen a filing. For someone already strapped for cash, the idea of paying even more money to an attorney can seem daunting.

Unfortunately, filing without any assistance or using a basic do-it-yourself program can backfire. If your bankruptcy is not filed properly in bankruptcy court, your request can be denied and you can end up worse off than before you began your filing.

Sabotaging Your Shot at Financial Relief

Bankruptcy courts can reject your petition for bankruptcy if there are mistakes in your claim or if you request discharge of debts that are not normally discharged in a bankruptcy. For instance, if you ask that back child support payments and student loan debt be discharged, in addition to a discharge request for credit card debt, your entire request can be thrown out of bankruptcy court.

Mistakes in your bankruptcy petition can also result in a denial of discharge. Denial can result in criminal charges because it means the court believes you have hidden assets, are lying on your bankruptcy petition, or were otherwise dishonest during the bankruptcy process. A denied request also does not stop the bankruptcy process, which means your assets can still be sold to pay your creditors. In addition to your original financial crisis, now you face criminal charges and are at risk for losing all of your assets. For more information about bankruptcy in Tampa see our detailed FAQs.

A Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help You Avoid these Problems

Working with a bankruptcy attorney protects you against these common mistakes. Your bankruptcy lawyer will review your financial situation and determine what debt to include in your bankruptcy petition. Your attorney will also assist you with your paperwork and ensure everything is filled out properly.

If you are tempted to try a do-it-yourself bankruptcy filing, think twice! Contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 to help you sort through the complicated process of filing for bankruptcy.

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At the Tampa Bay law firm, the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A., we help people with consumer bankruptcy matters in the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg,  Florida communities such as Clearwater,     St. Petersburg, Tampa, Thonotosassa, Riverview, Lutz, Plant City, Brandon, Carrollwood, Wesley Chapel, St. Petersburg Beach, Lakeland, Mulberry, Dade City, Pinellas Park, Largo, Seminole, Odessa, Oldsmar and Lithia, and counties such as Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County and Manatee County.