Ever since the internet was introduced, people have searched for ways to do everything online. It has even spread to the medical and legal fields. It's no different for filing for bankruptcy. There are now many Internet start-ups that offer prepackaged legal documents with instructions on how to complete them. With all the hype, many people are even trying to file for bankruptcy on their own. Over the past 10 years, a large number of websites have offered online bankruptcy filing. What these services offer is a web portal to fill out the bankruptcy petition and print it out for presentation in bankruptcy court. So, although the bankruptcy petition is completed online, it must still be submitted in person to the local federal bankruptcy court, unless you are a bankruptcy attorney. A bankruptcy lawyer has the luxury of submitting their client's bankruptcy petition electronically online for a small fee. In fact, most lawyers rarely submit documents in person because of this technology. This is not offered to the handyman. If someone files do-it-yourself bankruptcy, they will have to go there in person. While in the past it could have been fine, recently due to constant changes in the bankruptcy code in most cases it is best to hire a bankruptcy lawyer.
If someone has to file for bankruptcy and is worried about which way to go due to lack of funds, they just have to consider the amount of money the person will wipe out on a discharge. bankruptcy and compare it to the cost of bankruptcy. lawyer and the value appears all of a sudden. Filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 now requires a person to qualify on a means test. It doesn't sound too complicated, but the bankruptcy code was written by lawyers, for lawyers. This fundamentally makes it harder for the average Joe to figure out what he really wants. If a person misinterprets the qualifications for Chapter 7 filing, all of a sudden they might find themselves forced to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead. A bankruptcy attorney will screen the individual before even filing the petition.
So there is a two-part answer to the question: can I file for bankruptcy online? Firstly, technically yes if you are only planning to complete the bankruptcy petition. The second answer is that the only way to file bankruptcy online electronically is to get represented by a bankruptcy lawyer and submit it. No matter how you slice it, the individual filing for bankruptcy is required to appear in court at the 341 meeting or meeting of creditors. There is no way around it because the process of filing for bankruptcy is a legal proceeding and every legal proceeding allows a person to challenge the process. At this meeting, creditors have the opportunity to challenge the bankruptcy filing. This rarely happens except in cases of fraud.
Ultimately, hiring a bankruptcy lawyer will give a person peace of mind knowing that someone will be there to defend them during the entire course. If creditors get out of line while filing for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy attorney will call them and tell them to stop bothering their client. This service is not available for the handyman. They will be responsible for fending off creditors alone. Most creditors will honor the individual filing, but usually not until they have their bankruptcy file number after filing the petition. Before that, the harassment will continue until the case is brought to court. Along with a lawyer, a person will also be able to get legal advice regarding financial matters that may affect them in the future. Do-it-yourself bankruptcy filing will leave a single person making mistakes.
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