In the current economic situation that Americans are suffering, do it yourself has become an everyday word for most people. Just ask any homeowner and they'll tell you they spend most of their weekends at Lowe's or Home Depot trying to figure out some project they can do on their own to save money. Saving money is good, but it also depends on what you're trying to do. When it comes to medical services, do-it-yourself anything is probably not a good idea. Some people try to use homeopathic remedies along with going to witch doctors with poor results. The same applies to individuals that are suffering with un-payable bills. When filing bankruptcy, it is probably best to be represented by an experienced bankruptcy attorney. However, it is possible to file bankruptcy on your own. There are many websites online that offer bankruptcy forms, software and even some offer kits to help individuals file a do-it-yourself bankruptcy.
Many people think they can walk into Barnes & Noble and buy a copy of Bankruptcy for beginners, then go home and fill it out the forms in an afternoon and file it the next day. There is one problem, every bankruptcy case is different. The exemption laws vary from state to state, along with other landmines that individual might not understand. The bankruptcy code was written by lawyers for lawyers and this is why it is complicated for an armchair quarterback that attempts to do it on their own.
After surfing the web for a little while a debtor would be able to find a mess of do-it-yourself bankruptcy websites. Some of these sites offer a free online means test. Do-it-yourselfers take a few minutes to take this so-called means test to find out if they qualify to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If the person qualifies they can continue on to sign up for the service. If they don't qualify they will be told that they will be required to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Sounds easy enough, right? There is one problem, most of these means test calculators don't account for enough information to get a complete picture of all the deductions and allowances a person filing bankruptcy can use. Another problem is a novice won't know if the data is even up-to-date. Congress changes the median income required to file bankruptcy under Chapter 7 at least once a year and sometimes twice. If these websites aren't updated regularly the information you report could be incorrect. A person could go through the entire hassle of filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy and find out at the meeting of the creditors that they don't even qualify.
Lately, bankruptcy trustees have been coming down on do-it-yourself bankruptcy websites hard. There is a fine line between giving legal advice and helping someone fill up their documents. At least, this is the way they perceive it and the last time I checked they are in charge when it comes to filing bankruptcy. To avoid all the hoopla, it's best to find a bankruptcy attorney that will help you. They can give you legal advice and use the bankruptcy exemptions to the full extent of the law in your area. If you consider the assets that you are protecting, it's really quite a bargain. Avoid the hours of headaches and call a bankruptcy attorney to see if it will work for you.
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