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By law, you don’t need a lawyer to file for bankruptcy – either personal or business – but there are some key points to note before you go pro se.
The United States legal system is designed to allow individuals to represent themselves in court cases and proceedings if they so choose. It’s called “pro se” and it can apply to individual bankruptcy filings, too. But if you want to go pro se in bankruptcy, there are some important things to understand to ensure your success.
Fact: “Pro se” is a Latin phrase that means “for oneself” or “for one’s own behalf.”
The information below can help you understand the process and risks of filing for bankruptcy on your own without the assistance of a licensed attorney. If you have questions or want to discuss your case with a qualified professional, we’re here to help you find the solutions you need. Call us or complete the form to the right to get the help you need now.
As long as you are making an individual filing, you can file for bankruptcy on your own without a lawyer or a law degree yourself. This includes both types of personal bankruptcy filings (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13) as well as business filings (Chapter 11 or Chapter 12) as long as the business is not a partnership or incorporated entity.
You can represent yourself in a partnership because you can’t legally represent someone else without being a licensed attorney. Incorporated businesses can’t be represented by the owner, so you have to hire an attorney.
Of course, just because you can do something it doesn’t mean that you should. Even on the official website for United States Courts it states:
“While individuals can file a bankruptcy case without an attorney or “pro se,” it is extremely difficult to do it successfully.”
Here are a few risks you face with filing on your own:
Article last modified on April 24, 2019. Published by Debt.com, LLC