DIY Bankruptcy: A disaster in the making?

I come from a long line of do-it-yourselfers; my father could fix, install, invent, build or repair anything that needed doing in our house, my mother could paint, wallpaper or tile any ceiling, wall or floor with near-professional results. It must have been passed down in the genes; I’ve got one brother who’s a professional contractor and another who is the main “go-to” guy for a power plant in Florida and still another who can replace a car’s catalytic converter, single-handedly. Our family just does not believe in contracting or hiring out; we have become self-taught experts.

Yes, I’m a big advocate of do-it-yourselfing, but only as far as a DIY job pertains to my abode. For anything even remotely pertaining to a legal or financial issue, or heaven forbid both, I believe in pulling in the big guns. Granted, I could save some money on the attorney or CPA fee by using a DIY divorce kit or completing my own 1040 form plus whatever schedules I may need (or think I need). But, what if I messed up, or I missed something? I am just not willing to accept the threat of a bigamy or tax evasion charge, because I thought I could do it myself.

Given the state of the American economy (i.e. a plain ol’ mess), a lot of people are missing a lot of payments -- not just mortgage payments, but credit card and utilities payments, too. When these missed payments pile up, and there is no way to make good the amount in arrears, it’s natural to consider that bankruptcy is the only way out.

But are you familiar enough with the bankruptcy process and laws to try to file one on your own, using one of those DIY Bankruptcy kits you’ve probably heard about? Do you know the difference between a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13? Did you know that you can actually file both, and derive dual benefits? Do you know the reasons why a bankruptcy petition might be rejected, or what debt you currently have that cannot be discharged?

If you answered no to any of those questions, you better start studying. On average, you’ve got about 50 pages of paperwork to complete. I don’t know about you, but I have trouble filling out a two-page credit card application!

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, you’ve already got a lot on your plate – are you ready to add a boatload more of pressure and anxiety? Do you have what it takes to do this right, from the onset? It takes time, diligence, fortitude and even some temerity to see this through to a successful (hopefully) finish. You must be your own advocate.

There are no “Do-Overs” in bankruptcy. You can’t just say, “Oops, my bad.” When using a DIY bankruptcy kit, any mistakes that you make on the bankruptcy petition are yours. When not done right, a botched bankruptcy filing can wind up costing you more than any attorney ever could – you risk the loss of your assets, including your house and your car. A good attorney (and perhaps not your run-of-the-bankruptcy-mill attorney) would know how to protect those assets. Our attorneys would know how to protect your prized possessions.

An even more important consideration, though, is that you may still have time to avoid bankruptcy. We’d like to help you figure that out and you can start by completing our Debt Analysis form. The analysis and consultation are both free; the only cost to you is a bit of your time. And it starts here, with a click of the mouse.

--Debt Diva

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