Do I need a bankruptcy attorney?

While a hiring bankruptcy attorney is not required to file for bankruptcy in Arizona, a professional opinion can certainly help to make the best decision possible. While it is possible to file for bankruptcy without legal representation, it might not be advantageous to do so. Bankruptcy filing is a serious legal matter, and filing Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 can be complicated. You will feel far more confident if you consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before filing.

In Arizona, you can choose document preparation services or a self-service counter in the courthouse. But the savings of a document preparation service may not be a bargain if the bankruptcy process is not completed correctly. And the savings of a self-service filing may not amount to the successful outcome that an experienced bankruptcy law firm could achieve on your behalf.

A document preparation service typically charges a flat preparation fee of about $200, which does not include the filing fees that are payable to the court. The fee pays for non-lawyer personnel to prepare bankruptcy documents for you. There is no way to identify the competent services from the fly-by-night companies.. They may provide inadequate work and you would have no recourse to remedy the problem. Further, document preparation services are not supposed to give advice about how to complete your papers since they lack legal training. Even if they were to provide advice, you might follow it at your own peril.

Using the self-service counter at an Arizona courthouse, anyone filing for bankruptcy must wait for an opportunity to speak with the volunteer attorney that is only available on a specific date and time. This attorney may advise you about the bankruptcy process, but will not have the time or resources to evaluate your individual circumstances.

An experienced bankruptcy attorney is a trained legal representative looking out for your best interests. When filing for Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a large number of details vary according to individual circumstances. These may include the timing of filing, the items included in the filing, and the items exempted from the filing. A bankruptcy attorney with extensive experience in the Arizona courts will also be familiar with the laws, processes, and common practices that make bankruptcy cases flow more smoothly.

There is no substitute for the legal advice of a law firm that works regularly with the bankruptcy courts in Phoenix, AZ. You have the peace of mind of knowing that the Bar Association oversees lawyers and provides you the ability to learn of past complaints and current standing in the legal community.