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Does My Bankruptcy Advocate Have to Be a Lawyer?

Within the past few years, a number of businesses have set up shop offering inexpensive bankruptcy services, even though they are not lawyers. These services focus only on bankruptcy document preparation. The American Bar Association and state bar associations prohibit these individuals from charging more than $200. Equally importantly, they prohibit non-lawyer bankruptcy services from providing legal advice. This means that these services may do the clerical work of putting your case in order, but they cannot verify the information contained in your documents or check to see if you are making the best case that you can.

Bankruptcy proceedings are extremely complicated. In fact, bankruptcy laws are among the most complicated and nuanced bodies of the law. Bankruptcy laws also change frequently. Additionally, the amount of property that you lose, the impact on your financial credit history, and even the debts that you still have to pay will all vary based on your individual case. A lawyer can help you construct the best possible case to protect your interests.

So, yes, you do need a lawyer when you're declaring bankruptcy if you want to protect yourself as much as possible.

How Will I Be Able to Pay My Lawyer?

Remember that you can always request alternative payment methods such as scaled payments and bartering. Most bankruptcy lawyers realize that their clients are in a tough situation, and may be willing to work with you to structure an affordable payment plan.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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