Help Filing Bankruptcy Online
When filing bankruptcy online, your case can either be filed your case pro se, with the help of a petition preparer or by hiring an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. In today’s article, our professionals at ZocLaw.com highlight a few important points that may help you determine exactly what help filing bankruptcy online may be best for your case.
Filing bankruptcy online pro se (without an attorney)
When you decide not to get any help filing bankruptcy online, it is up to you to determine whether you should file a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13, if all your debt will be discharged and how to safeguard valuable property. Furthermore, you will also be required to create your bankruptcy petition that contains standard bankruptcy forms as well as documents that describe your current financial situation. If you file a Chapter 13, you have to include a Chapter 13 bankruptcy payment plan, which will prove to the Court that you will have sufficient disposable income to contribute to the Chapter 13 bankruptcy payment plan. Any irregularities that may arise your confirmation hearing or your 341 Creditor’s meeting will need to be addressed on your own in a professional manner. Bankruptcy trustees are not going to be easy on you simply because you do not have legal representation. The advantage of not obtaining any help filing bankruptcy online is that you do not have to pay an experienced bankruptcy attorney or a petition preparer.
Filing bankruptcy online by hiring a petition preparer
A petition planner can be described as a non-attorney typing service with access to bankruptcy filing software that enables them to create your bankruptcy petition. However, it is under your strict direction and guidance. Petition prepares are not lawyers. As such, they may not:
- Provide legal representation at bankruptcy hearings.
- Tell you what debts can be discharged or what exemptions you may claim.
- Advise you on any matters relating to your bankruptcy filing.
- Advise you on whether you should file a Chapter 7 or 13.
- Provide insight as to whether a bankruptcy is the best debt management strategy for you.
All a petition preparer does is simply typing your bankruptcy petition based on the information that you provide. It is your responsibility to you to research how bankruptcy laws work, which debts are dischargeable, what state and federal exemptions you may be entitled to and any other matter pertaining to filing bankruptcy.
Filing bankruptcy online with the help of a lawyer
When you hire a bankruptcy attorney, he or she will handle your from start to finish. However, it is important to be as forthcoming as possible with your attorney, provide the necessary documents on time and be sure to attend all of the bankruptcy hearings. Your attorney understands the intricacies of the bankruptcy process and will be able to advise you accordingly should any legal issues arise. Although filing pro se or hiring a petition planner may cost significantly less, it may be the better choice in the long run to hire a bankruptcy attorney simply because a botched bankruptcy filing can have long-term adverse effects on your finances.
Cost of hiring a bankruptcy attorney online
It could cost anywhere from $500.00 to $3,500 for a Chapter 7, and $2,500 to $6,000 for a Chapter 13. However, bankruptcy attorneys’ fees depend on several factors including the type of bankruptcy you file and how complicated your case is. Most bankruptcy attorneys charge a flat rate for the bankruptcy filing.