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Do I really need a bankruptcy attorney?

  

Individuals may file a bankruptcy petition without an attorney. This is called appearing "pro-se." However, the bankruptcy code is very complex and filing a bankruptcy petition requires a thorough knowledge of both the bankruptcy code and other Federal and State laws. In addition, bankruptcy practice differs from court to court. Experienced bankruptcy attorneys are familiar with the local rules, both written and unwritten. 

Filing your own petition is very risky. Often "do-it-yourselfers," or even lawyers lack proper experience and make serious mistakes with drastic results. A mistake can cause the unnecessary loss of assets, loss of a personal home, or even the loss of the right to receive a bankruptcy discharge. You may be able to read the bankruptcy code, but only an experienced bankruptcy attorney can provide a realistic assessment of what can and cannot be accomplished by filing a bankruptcy petition, and make sure that your case proceeds smoothly.

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