Do You Need to Hire a Lawyer to File for Bankruptcy in Pennsylvania?

When a debtor is filing for bankruptcy, they are already in deep mud while dealing with their financial problems. In a situation like this, the last thing they want is another added expense that will become difficult for them to manage. Even though this apparently makes sense, in reality, this is not a good idea. Bankruptcy filing is a complex legal procedure involving a lot of paperwork that can be cumbersome for a layman. That is why you need to hire an experienced Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer.

Why Pro Se Filing Can be Dangerous

If you are thinking that we are only suggesting this because we are a group of lawyers, then let us tell you, this is also the suggestion of the U. S. Bankruptcy Courts. To quote them, “Bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences — hiring a competent bankruptcy attorney is strongly recommended.”

As it has already been said, bankruptcy is a complicated process with a lot of paperwork where the filer has to be compliant with federal, state and local regulations as well as maintain strict deadlines. And that is where the Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer can be helpful for you.

Bankruptcy Filing Mistakes and Their Consequences

When you are filing for bankruptcy, you will have to deal with technical jargon, rules and regulations and calculations. Hence, even if you have the experience of dealing with finances, you might make some unwanted mistakes. That is why you should think of hiring a Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer.

With Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act 2005, it has become relatively more difficult to file on your own. Hence, hiring an attorney can help you get through this without making any unwanted mistakes.

Common Mistakes in Bankruptcy FilingPre Filing Mistakes
  • If you are going for pro se filing, you might fail to understand which chapter will be right for you and end up choosing the wrong one.
  • If you are trying to deal with the fact that you are behind your child or spousal support or student loan, then filing bankruptcy won’t help as these debts are not dischargeable. Hence, without proper knowledge, you will be just wasting time, money and effort.
  • You might fail to receive the required credit counseling and document it prior to filing bankruptcy. This is a federal requirement and without it, your case will be dismissed.
  • Bankruptcy will make every asset of yours a part of bankruptcy estate which means the trustee can sell them off for paying your debts. However, you can get a chance to protect your house, car and other assets with state and federal exemptions. And to use that, you need to hire a Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer.
  • Calculating correctly for the Means Test is necessary and that can happen with an attorney. For you, there is always a chance of mistake.
Post Filing Mistakes
  • While attending 341 meetings post-filing, you will require presenting many documents which will carry details of your payments. But if you are making mistakes in them, the trustee or creditor can object and bankruptcy can get dismissed.
  • If your current bankruptcy is getting dismissed, the automatic stay in your next filing will be shorter too. Hence, it is in your best interest if you avoid such mistakes by appointing a lawyer.
  • If the court finds out that the mistake in the case was deliberate, then the consequences will include not only financial damage but also criminal charges.

So, as you can see, by hiring a lawyer, you can avoid such risks, don’t wait anymore. Come to Pittsburgh Bankruptcy Law Group today.

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