You need special training. Really. I am not saying this to convince you to hire me over doing it yourself. You just do.
Below is a picture I took of myself (yes, a “selfie”) which I just sent to my wife. I am literally pounding my head against my desk trying to balance out the budget and 6 month Form 22 analysis of my clients’ income. They have two jobs, a strange and complicated benefits package, and a lot of deductions.
Sometimes, preparing bankruptcy paperwork is so easy that it feels like you could fill out the forms with a crayon. Other times, it is awfully complicated, and when you make a mistake, it is a costly mistake that causes you to lose your car or even your home. Every bankruptcy attorney I know has spent countless hours research the minutiae of various bankruptcy laws. So yes, we all have special training, although most of it is self-taught.
I have had additional bankruptcy-specific training in law school (back in 1996 before most people carried cell phones), including courses on bankruptcy, secured transactions, real property law, etc. Bankruptcy was my LOWEST grade in law school ever, and it did nothing to help me prepare for the real world. As an attorney, I even attended a week-long seminar in 2007 called “Max Gardner’s Bankruptcy Bootcamp.” I learned bankruptcy tips and techniques from a master of bankruptcy law who is much, much smarter than I am. That training helped, but it’s still a learning process every day.
So yes, you really do need special training. You may be fine if you proceed without it, but if you make a mistake, it’s usually a doozy!