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Filing Bankruptcy in Ohio on my own

Are you considering filing bankruptcy in Ohio on your own?

The legal term for this is “pro se,” meaning that you’re representing yourself in a court proceeding without a lawyer.
You may be concerned about the cost of legal services associated with filing bankruptcy in Ohio. After all, if you’re already struggling financially, you may wonder if you can really afford an attorney to help you with your filing.

In most cases, the truth is that you can’t afford not to work with an attorney. Most of us don’t know the ins and outs of the legal system and don’t know the pitfalls awaiting those who choose to file pro se.

So while there are forms and procedures available for filing bankruptcy in Ohio yourself, let’s look for a moment at the risks of choosing to represent yourself in your bankruptcy filing:

  • New bankruptcy regulations make it harder to get approval. Several changes in the law over the past few years are designed to create more obstacles to fully discharging your debt. Filing bankruptcy in Ohio now requires credit counseling both before and after you file, and changes in income requirements have made it more difficult to discharge your debt, making it more likely that you’ll be required to repay some of the debts under chapter 13 bankruptcy.
  • More paperwork leads to more mistakes. These same regulatory changes have made filing bankruptcy in Ohio a mountain of paperwork. Pro se filers often spend hours trying to figure out what information needs to be provided, how it should be listed, and checking the accuracy of their petitions. And since they are filing alone, only they are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of their documents, a difficult task for anyone without a legal background.
  • Mistakes lead to costly denials and loss of protections. Mistakes in your application can lead to a denial. What does that mean? It may mean that you are penalized and must wait before another attempt to file bankruptcy in Ohio. Meanwhile, your case will be dismissed and you will lose the “automatic stay” protection that keeps creditors from pursuing you. Some self-filers find themselves losing property or other possessions like their car or furniture. Others face lawsuits and garnishments as creditors resume collections efforts.

If you’re considering filing bankruptcy in Ohio on your own, ask yourself the following questions:

Am I willing to learn the laws surrounding bankruptcy?

Am I ready to devote the time to ensure that my bankruptcy filing is complete and correct?

Am I comfortable with the risk involved with having my bankruptcy filing denied?

If the answer to any of the above is “no,” contact us to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you with filing bankruptcy in Ohio. Bankruptcy is all we do, and to date we have never had a case denied. Our extensive knowledge of specific requirements in the bankruptcy code allows us to ensure that all of the information required for filing bankruptcy in Ohio — income, assets, past year tax documents and overall debts — are reported accurately and completely, for the best possible outcome. Don’t get caught guessing on a document that can determine your financial future. Contact us today.