Can I file bankruptcy without an attorney?

Yes, but it’s a bad idea.

There are bankruptcy petition preparation services out there that do a pretty good job, but by law, they cannot give you legal advice.  They cannot advise you whether or not you should sell that car with too much equity or wait to file bankruptcy until after you’ve received your refund.  They can prepare the paperwork, and that’s it.  They do not go to court with you, and left alone in front of the trustee with paperwork you barely understand.

I know, I am the guy who gets paid if you decide to use an attorney, so take my advice in that light.

However, honestly, it’s a complicated enough process that you really, really should use a bk professional.  You don’t even want to use a regular attorney or a friend of the family:  you need a real, honest to goodness bankruptcy attorney whose only focus is consumer bankruptcy.

I have been seeing a lot more pro se (by yourself, or without an attorney) cases being dismissed recently, and it seems that the U.S. Trustee’s Office (Department of Justice Attorneys who monitor bankruptcy cases) has been filing more and more motions to dismiss for failure to file documents properly.  It is not worth the risk of doing it wrong, or facing dismissal, or of losing something that should have been protected or sold off.

So, yes, you can file bankruptcy without an attorney, but it’s a bad idea.

This is not legal advice.  If you need help go to

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