Can you file for bankruptcy pro se? What are the worst parts about doing it this way, if there are any? Where do I go to find the forms? I do not have money.
Yes you can file.
Risks -- possible loss of property, failure to get a discharge, imprisonment, wasting your time and adding to your stress.
If you have no money whatsoever, check with the local bar association of legal aid society for pro bono attorneys. Even if you file pro se, you need someone to review documents. They can be a minefield for the unwary.
As my colleague has stated, there are many ways that a pro se filer can hurt themselves filing their own bankruptcy. I often compare it to performing surgery on yourself. But if you think that example is too dramatic, consider that it is at the very least like working on your own car if you don't know what you're doing. I remember as a kid working on my car. I was one clueless amateur auto mechanic, and I basically would just replace parts until I accidentally replaced the part that was actually malfunctioning. This is not the way to file bankruptcy. Is it that you really have no money? Or is it that you don't want to spend any of the money you do have for a bankruptcy attorney? You may find that the money you spend to have a bankruptcy filed correctly will be worth many, many times what a good BK lawyer will cost you. Think about this matter very carefully before going it alone. Good luck!
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Yes, but I wouldn't recommend it. Just the means test alone is quite complicated. And there are a lot of deadlines, information that has to be pretty much perfect, etc. that are easy even for experienced attorneys to miss. This really is one of those "don't try this at home" deals. That said, if you truly feel you have no other choice, I recommend Nolo Press's book on filing your own chapter 7. http://www.nolo.com/products/how-to-file-for-chapter-7-bankruptcy-hfb.html. It's quite good with worksheets for the means test, etc. The forms are available from your local bankruptcy court online. Good luck!
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At least take advantage of a free consultation, which most bankruptcy attorneys offer. Sounds to me as though you are balking at paying the price which you do not know. Most of the time, my clients wind up receiving a benefit which far outweighs the costs and fees of a properly prepared and filed bankruptcy case.
Posting questions anonymously and receiving general answers do not substitute for consulting with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction in which you live. Answers posted here by Kevin C Gleason are only intended for general education of the public on legal matters. Please consult a qualified professional before deciding what to do about your situation.
I can't do it on Gainsville but I will often lower my fees to ridiculously small amounts if the case is a very easy case. Find a lawyer that does the same in your area. You can file a form to pay the court over time so there may be very little out of pocket.
*** remember when I say that a case is easy, I mean that for a relatively experienced BK lawyer. if you get a high fee, it might be because there are issues with the case (be sure to ask what those are). If you get a low fee, that does NOT mean you can do it your self it just means that the lawyer is very familiar with similar cases***
You can, but it is very difficult and if you do not do it right, you might not get a discharge, or get your case dismissed.
This answer cannot be a substitute for legal advice which requires more information from the client than can be obtained in this forum. Therefore this answer CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS LEGAL ADVICE FROM THIS ATTORNEY.
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