You’ve probably seen advertisements in town for “The World’s Cheapest Bankruptcy!”
Usually they are around 200 bucks – depending on where you live.
How can bankruptcy be so cheap?
How can other attorneys charge thousands of dollars for the same thing I can get for $200?
First of all, if they are charging $200 then it’s not an attorney – it’s a document preparer.
So what’s a document preparer then?
A document preparer is a glorified laser printer in the guise of human form. They cannot answer bankruptcy questions for you. They cannot help you with any pre-bankruptcy planning. They cannot guide you as to how to do much at all. If they did, it would be illegal.
Therefore, filing with a document preparer is essentially the same as filing without an attorney. You’re a lone wolf.
So I’m filing on my own. What’s the worst that could happen?
You have assets that could be lost when you file for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy court could take your car if you do something wrong, or you could lose your house. You could lose cash in your bank account. Your case could be dismissed, and you could lose your chance of ever filing for bankruptcy again on those debts. And you could end up being convicted of fraud, being fined, and even end up going to jail if you make enough mistakes when filing a bankruptcy without an attorney’s help.
As bad as all that sounds, some of you are still going to go out and file on your own. If you do – consider this. You can usually get the same forms from the bankruptcy court for absolutely free and just fill them out yourself.
Wow! What an easy way to save the 200 bucks you would have paid the document preparer who couldn’t do anything different than what you can do yourself.
And by the way – no bankruptcy costs $200. You have to pay the court over $300 just to file your case. The $200 document preparation is on top of that.