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Filing Without an Attorney? Watch Your Handwriting!

  • Wednesday, May 27, 2015

    Have you ever tried reading your doctor’s handwriting? Would it be much of a surprise if you walked out of the pharmacy with Ritalin instead of Restasis? All those years of school and he can’t even print like a second-grader.

    Filing bankruptcy without an attorney is risky. There is so much to know, so much at stake, and so much to get wrong. And believe it or not, even your handwriting can sink your case.

    Stay Between the Lines

    A potential client walked into our office for the first time carrying a stack of paper. It was filled with scribbles and chicken scratch. Many parts had been erased and rewritten so many times that even the print on the page was disappearing.

    We were shocked to learn that we were looking at copies of her official bankruptcy petition. She had obtained the official forms from the bankruptcy court and had struggled mightily to neatly print inside the tiny boxes and columns. She constantly made stakes, forcing her to erase and re-erase several times.

    Practice Makes Perfect

    The bankruptcy court recommends that you always file for bankruptcy using an attorney. Although you are allowed to file on your own, the complexity of the law makes it extremely difficult to file your case properly. Even the simplest mistake could result in your case being dismissed, or you could wind up losing money, assets, or both.

    In our client’s case, the court never even had a chance to find her mistakes because the trustee didn’t have the time to try and decipher her illegible paperwork. As a result, her case was dismissed. It was then she came to us.

    After a painstaking review of her paperwork we found many errors, one of which would have resulted in the loss of over $1,000 of her preciously-needed cash. We re-filed her case for her after doing a thorough, legal analysis. This time, the bankruptcy trustee was satisfied with her paperwork. Her case was successful, and we ultimately helped her eliminate over $35,000 in credit card and medical debt.





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