“Pro se” bankruptcy vs. bankruptcy lawyer – what’s the difference?

Bankruptcy is often the last hope for those who found themselves buried under the pressure of debts. For many successful bankruptcy means the start of a new life where one can finally live fearlessly, without everyday stress caused by collectors. When made wisely, bankruptcy process writes off the debts while allows a person keep a big part of his possessions and necessities and even allows him to get a new loan.

That is why if you have decided to file for bankruptcy you need to learn everything about the process, papers, forms and eligibility requirements. Your thorough approach will pay off with the approval and the instant government’s protection from your lenders and collectors.

All this becomes way easier if the debtor hires a professional bankruptcy attorney who consults, fills in forms, brings papers to the court and provides all related services. Bankruptcy lawyer’s services are pricey, but chances for success increase significantly.

Pros of filing for bankruptcy with professional attorney

One should never underestimate the importance of thorough preparation to the bankruptcy process, as one single mistake or inaccuracy may cost you money and months of wasted efforts.

professional attorney

First of all a bankruptcy attorney makes sure you file for the right Chapter, in accordance with the Means test results. After that attorney helps you to fill in all needed forms and papers and that gives you a guarantee you will not make mistakes that always lead to application denial.

Probably the most important reason to have a bankruptcy attorney involved into your case is that he can help you to keep as much property and belongings as it is possible in bankruptcy circumstances. As you know liquidation bankruptcy implies your property (for instance a house and a car) foreclosure in favor of your creditors. Bankruptcy attorney (a really smart one) can help you keep the lion part of what’s supposed to be withdrawn from you by the court.



Obviously, the only disadvantage of using attorney services that it’s too pricey. In times of financial hardship, when every dollar counts, not many can afford to pay for attorney’s services. Good bankruptcy lawyer costs a lot: about 1000-3000 dollars, depending on the Chapter you file under. Luckily, you have an impressive choice of law Companies that offer bankruptcy services so there is a chance you will find an attorney at a decent price.

Useful resources for filing for bankruptcy on your own

If your financial situation is already catastrophic and you don’t have 1000-1500 dollars for hiring a bankruptcy attorney, then you should prepare to work a lot on your bankruptcy.

Visit the following links to collect all possible information that will come in handy on all stages of the process.

filing for bankruptcy

  1. For initial free consultation, you may choose from dozens of law companies that offer the first advice taking no fee for that. Go to the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and give a call to several companies listed on the page.
  2. Your next and a highly important stage is to download all required forms for filing for bankruptcy under the Chapter that is suitable for your situation. Go to the site of U.S bankruptcy court and find the complete list of forms for Individuals and Small businesses. Also, before filling the forms download the Means test and make accurate calculations in accordance with the tests’ instructions.
  3. Go to the main page of U.S. bankruptcy court and read the basics about the bankruptcy, including the step-by-step actions, starting from sending papers to the court to interacting with your Trustee and preparation to meeting with creditors.
  4. You should visit https://www.legalconsumer.com/bankruptcy/forms/ for having all forms for each state of the USA. It must be reminded that bankruptcy laws and rules differ from state to state, therefore make sure you follow the correct instructions in regards to the state you are in.
  5. Search for some most recent articles on how to file for bankruptcy “pro se” and get the clear picture with the detailed step-by-step guidance. Make a list of what should be done and act accordingly. There are also free forums where people who went through it share valuable advice and tips.

Facts to know before starting the process:


These facts are “must-know” regardless of whether you file for bankruptcy with or without a professional lawyer.

  • Even if your debts are unbearable and you experience a catastrophic lack of money but your monthly income is higher than required to qualify for Chapter 7, you will not be eligible for liquidation bankruptcy. Instead of Chapter 7 you may opt for Chapter 13 (that doesn’t discharge debts though).
  • If you will file for bankruptcy when it’s not needed according to your financial situation your fee that you’ve paid to the court will not be returned to you. That is why it’s crucial to realize whether you have alternatives for bankruptcy and (if there’re no alternatives) whether you file for the right Chapter.
  • If you file under Chapter 13 you will have to develop a reorganization plan that has to be approved by your creditors (or by the majority of them) at the special meeting of creditors.
  • If your reputation is too important to you, you should keep in mind that information about your bankruptcy will be publicly available for your potential employers, lenders, and partners for the upcoming ten years. It may cause some complications in your social life, so you have to be ready your personal data is out of privacy.

Top-3 U.S law companies that provide bankruptcy attorney services:

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

The Company is rated as the best in more than 25 areas of law and has an extensive successful record on bankruptcy and insolvency sphere.

USA Legal Solutions LLC

USA Legal Solutions LLC

The Florida based law Company is among TOP pros in several key legal spheres: bankruptcy, immigration, credit restoration, family law.

Van Horn Law Group P.A.

Van Horn Law Group P.A.

This is the leading bankruptcy law Company with an unbeatable successful record of approved bankruptcies for individual and corporate clients.

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