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An Attorney’s Role in Bankruptcy

Do I need an attorney to file for bankruptcy?


You are not required to be represented by an attorney, but the advice of an attorney is generally helpful in understanding your rights and the consequences of your bankruptcy case, particularly in light of the recent changes to bankruptcy law. If you decide to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, the advice and assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney is generally a worthwhile expense.


If I need legal advice on filing bankruptcy, and don’t have the money for an attorney, what should I do?


You can contact the local bar association, legal aid services, or a university law school with a legal assistance program for a referral to an attorney.

Are there less expensive alternatives to hiring an attorney?


So-called “bankruptcy petition preparers” offer services in some areas of the country or over the Internet. Although their fees are usually lower than those of attorneys, bankruptcy petition preparers are generally not attorneys and are, therefore, not permitted to give you legal advice or represent you in court should there be problems with your case. If you are a person with very limited means in some states or cities you may be able to obtain the services of an attorney who will represent you without charge on a pro bono basis through a legal aid bureau or local bar association.