Do I Really Need an Attorney to File for Bankruptcy?

Many people who are considering filing for bankruptcy are looking for the most cost-effective way to do so. Afterall, a person needing a bankruptcy usually doesn't have a large sum of money that can be used to hire a bankruptcy attorney. Because of this, people often file their own bankruptcy and represent themselves in court. These people are known as pro-se bankruptcy filers.

A recent report by the Central District of California (the district that serves LA, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties) suggests that filing for bankruptcy without an attorney is a BAD idea. The report looked at Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings and the success rate of those filings. The report said:

  • 39.1% of Chapter 7 Bankruptcies filed WITHOUT an attorney were dismissed and did not receive a discharge
  • 5.4% of Chapter 7 Bankruptcies filed WITH an attorney were dismissed and did not receive a discharge

The numbers are pretty clear. Hiring an attorney to help you with the bankruptcy process greatly improves your chances of getting a bankruptcy discharge. The attorney success rate is 95%. The success rate of pro-se filers is 60%.

Why risk it? Filing for bankruptcy is a major decision. Make sure you are represented by the right attorney who can put you in the best position to have a successful bankruptcy.

If you are considering bankruptcy, contact an Orange County Bankruptcy Lawyer at 1st California Law for a free attorney consultation.

Categories: Chapter 13, Chapter 7