You can go without a lawyer when it comes to your divorce, then you lose the kids or have to pay outrageous alimony. You can try to become a naturalized U.S. Citizen by yourself, only to make mistakes which put you back months or even years in terms of citizenship. You can easily operate on your heart by yourself, well, let's not go there.
You need an attorney for the same reason you need a doctor: they know more about what they do than you. It's not impossible to handle your own bankruptcy, but it's certainly cause for worry and stress.
Why is a bankruptcy lawyer needed?
A bankruptcy lawyer is needed because he or she will know more about the laws than you, will know more about eligibility, more about fees, more about keeping your home from foreclosure, how to stop creditor harassment, and many other things.
Why do you need one for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
You need one at your meeting of creditors, also called the 341 meeting. This is a big step in your Chapter 7 case. You also need one at the trial in case certain creditors appeal the automatic stay. You need a lawyer to educate you on the laws, to keep you informed on what to do. For the fee involved - usually a very affordable and sometimes negotiable flat rate - you certainly get dividends.
Why for Chapter 13?
What happens if you file before foreclosure occurs? If you file Chapter 13, you save your home. Yes, the one you put the time, money, and dreams into. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can effectively save your home from foreclosure, stop creditor harassment, allow you to protect assets and avoid wage garnishments, and save you the stress of too many bills and debts.
Why do you have to pay them... so much?
Bankruptcy lawyers are not cheap. So can you really do it on your own? Actually, you can't afford not to hire one. It may sound like a commercial for the people in suits, but the benefits of a bankruptcy are immense. Read the above to points again. You can discharge tens of thousands with Chapter 7, and save your home from foreclosure. How much would you value that? Likely less than they charge.
What do they need from you in order to succeed?
A good lawyer will give, not take. He or she needs to educate you on this process, to advise you on debts, to discharge the most debt, to save your home, and more. So what do they need from you? An experienced lawyer needs an honest, understanding, and patient client. For bankruptcy, they put as much value on you as you them. The most important thing they need is for you to take that first step, to decide to file. After that, the ball is in your court when it comes to hiring the most experienced and effective bankruptcy lawyer.
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