As we discussed in an earlier blog, the paperwork that people and businesses have used to file for bankruptcy protection since the 1980s is being replaced effective December 1, 2015. Perhaps the biggest change with the new forms is that people and business owners will use two different sets of paperwork to file for bankruptcy. Historically, they have used the same three-page petition.
Bankruptcy experts have expressed concern that the new forms with clearer and more concise instructions (free of legalese) will encourage more people to file for bankruptcy without the help of an attorney. This could lead to people making BIG mistakes.
It is estimated that approximately 10% of bankruptcy filers nationally file without an attorney. While you may think you are saving money, the results can be devastating- jeopardizing your chances of a successful bankruptcy discharge. Studies have shown that filers who hire an attorney to file their Chapter 7 bankruptcy obtained a discharge 95% of the time. By contrast, those debtors who filed “pro se” only received their discharge in 61% of cases.
There are other benefits to hiring an attorney when filing for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy petition incorrectly or untimely filed can negatively affect a debtor’s future, rather than provide them with a much-needed financial fresh start. Bankruptcy is not about filling out forms, it is about understanding the rules, statutes and case law that determine how these forms are completed.
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If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.