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Think You Don’t Need an Attorney? Bankruptcy is about More than Filling Out Forms!

When someone learns it’s possible to file for bankruptcy without hiring a bankruptcy attorney, they often assume this is a good way to save money. After all, filing for bankruptcy isn’t going to require more than filling out a few forms, right?

Unfortunately, filing for bankruptcy is about more than just completing and submitting forms to the bankruptcy court. Not only do you need to ensure the forms required to file are complete, correct, and submitted on time, you also have a slew of other things that need to be handled when it comes to filing for bankruptcy. This is especially true if you have assets.

One of the worst things you can do if you’re considering bankruptcy is to try to file without hiring an attorney.

How Can an Attorney Help You File for Bankruptcy?

Even the simplest of bankruptcy cases can experience complications. In some cases, the problems begin before you even officially file for bankruptcy. By working with an attorney, you’ll begin the bankruptcy process before you fill out and submit forms to the court. This means an attorney can help you get “all your ducks in a row” before the court begins to take action in your case.

Your bankruptcy attorney will also be there to help you during the more challenging aspects of your bankruptcy case. For instance, when the time comes for you to meet with your creditors, he or she will be at your side offering guidance and support. This meeting is one of the most intimidating aspects of filing for bankruptcy and having an experienced professional at your side can put your fears at ease.

There are many things that can go wrong with a bankruptcy case and your attorney will help you avoid these issues. Some, but far from all of the things that can go wrong during bankruptcy include:

• Dismissal of your case because you chose the wrong chapter bankruptcy
• Loss of assets because you did not protect them properly
• Legal action against people you recently repaid because you didn’t realize the Trustee has the authority to recover assets
• Denial of bankruptcy or certain discharges because of mistakes on your bankruptcy application

This list from thebalance.com gives several more examples of things that can cause your bankruptcy to be denied. Keep in mind that you don’t need to intentionally do these things to cause denial. Your unintentional mistake can affect your bankruptcy in a negative way.

Every case is different and as such, every case has its own unique set of things that can go wrong. For all the information you can research online to help you file without the assistance of a professional, it’s impossible to find information that pertains directly to every aspect of your case. An experienced bankruptcy attorney is able to apply his or her knowledge of the law to your specific circumstances and ensure your bankruptcy filing goes as smoothly as possible.

“There’s No Way I Need an Attorney for My Simple Bankruptcy Case”

Most bankruptcy attorneys have heard this statement, usually while they are trying to untangle the mess made by someone who tried to file because he or she thought it was a simple, cut-and-dry case.

The truth is unless you’re an experienced bankruptcy professional, you really can’t be sure your case is simple. You need someone to help you sort through your specific circumstances and help you make the best decisions possible. This is the only way bankruptcy is really going to benefit you in the long run.

For more information or to discuss your case with someone who understands bankruptcy, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813-254-5696.

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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, 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.