We have all witnessed the effects this economy is having on our society, but have we examined how it influences our individual decisions? Many individuals choose to represent themselves in foreclosures, domestic relations, consumer issues, and non-foreclosure housing matters, among others, to save money. The outcomes? The judges who were polled revealed that those who choose to represent themselves do a poor job, thereby adding to the already overburdened justice system's workload.
Over sixty percent of the judges surveyed stated that self-representation in court typically results in a negative outcome for the litigant.
This survey supports a statement I frequently make: Do not file for bankruptcy unless you have carefully considered the repercussions. Filing bankruptcy is no easy undertaking. It requires you to handle essential documents, negotiate with the trustee, and deal with the inevitable obstacles that will arise. This is not to say that filing bankruptcy on your own is impossible, but as the survey demonstrates, it is not something to be taken carelessly.
Remember that filing your own taxes does not always save you money, nor does it save you time. By committing one simple error, you and your family are at risk of not receiving a discharge. That means you could have performed all of those tasks and expended all of that money without receiving a discharge.
The best method to obtain a favorable outcome for your case is to conduct the necessary research, assess your situation, and select the course of action that will result in the best possible outcome, not the one that will cost the least amount of money.
Do I imply that it is always preferable to file for bankruptcy with the assistance of an attorney? Perhaps not necessarily. Most debtors find that selecting an attorney with a track record of winning cases is the key to a genuinely positive bankruptcy experience. If you choose an attorney based on a low price or limited experience, you may place yourself in a position just as precarious as if you had filed on your own.
If you are still undecided about whether to file on your own or with an attorney, educate yourself on the risks by conducting research. Consult local attorneys for free information, such as bankruptcy FAQs, articles, and even free publications.
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