Bankruptcy Petition Preparer
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Bankruptcy Petition Preparer

If you're considering filing for personal bankruptcy, you probably want to make sure you proceed in the most cost-effective way possible. And, if you've heard of a bankruptcy petition preparer, you may be interested in knowing whether hiring one might help you streamline your case.

While a bankruptcy petition preparer may seem like a cheap alternative to an attorney, the fact is that a petition preparer can only provide one service: filling out forms under your direction. If you are confused about the bankruptcy process or unsure which chapter might be right for you, a preparer is legally prohibited from providing any legal advice or representing you in court.

You can decide if you'd like the help of a bankruptcy attorney or if you'd prefer to use other services. Connecting with a bankruptcy lawyer near you to discuss your options is easy - just fill out the quick case review form below to schedule your free initial consultation.


Free Case Evaluation

Bankruptcy Lawyer vs. Bankruptcy Petition Preparer

There are some things you may want to consider when making a decision about filing for bankruptcy and whether you want to use a bankruptcy attorney, a petition preparer, or other alternatives.

  • Complex bankruptcy laws: The U.S. Bankruptcy Court is governed by a number of complex federal and state laws, all of which will determine whether your case is accepted and what kind of debt relief you may be eligible to receive. A bankruptcy petition preparer may not necessarily have any formal training in legal language or the specifics of bankruptcy law.
  • Important pre-filing bankruptcy decisions: Once you've made the decision to file for bankruptcy, you may feel a sense of relief, but keep in mind that you're far from finished. Before you even file your case, you must decide which type of personal bankruptcy (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13) would best suit your case. And the decisions don't stop there.
  • Avoidance of bankruptcy fraud: One of the most discouraging things that can happen to a bankruptcy filer is to have his or her case dismissed for bankruptcy fraud. And while that might sound surprising, the complexity of bankruptcy law means that a well-intentioned filer could indeed accidentally break that law and face a steep fine or even jail time. Working with a bankruptcy lawyer can help act as a safeguard against such disaster, as lawyers are trained in the specifics of the laws that govern bankruptcy.
  • Deadlines and paperwork filings: In some bankruptcy cases, filers are expected to submit paperwork after their initial petition, which means meeting multiple deadlines and completing legal forms properly. Staying on track with the court's timeline can make a difference between having your petition accepted and having it rejected.

Will Hiring a Bankruptcy Petition Preparer Save Me Money?

It might, but remember that filing a bankruptcy petition costs money whether you work with a lawyer, by yourself or with someone else. And bankruptcy petition preparers do not have to be licensed in any way and are prohibited from giving filers legal advice. Lawyers, on the other hand, must be licensed to practice in their state and can represent a filer during the proceedings.

Take Advantage of a Free Legal Consultation

Still not sure whether you want to work with a lawyer or a bankruptcy petition preparer? Then take advantage of this offer for a free legal consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer practicing in near you. Simply fill out the case review form below to connect with a sponsoring attorney for a no-obligation initial consultation today.


Free Case Evaluation

Tap to Call - (877) 250-8242

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