If you’re interested in filing bankruptcy on your own, make sure you understand the risks.

An Illinois woman recently pleaded guilty to charges of bankruptcy fraud after filing her own case. She committed a number of crimes, including:

  • Concealing her money from the court by transferring funds to different accounts
  • Lying on her bankruptcy petition
  • Lying under oath at her Meeting of Creditors

Now, I’m not suggesting anyone who files on their own might make the same choices. She pleaded guilty because she did something illegal on purpose. But it can still cause major problems when you get things wrong on your petition, even if you didn’t mean to.

If you try to file on your own, you need to be absolutely certain you know the law. You could file the wrong bankruptcy chapter for your situation or leave out important information the courts expect to see. As a result, you could:

  • Lose your property, including your house or car
  • Have your case dismissed entirely, or even
  • Be investigated for misrepresenting your situation.

That last one should be avoidable if you’re open and honest. But the other two happen all the time. And in many cases the mistakes have permanent consequences.

I always recommend a bankruptcy attorney. Always, even if you don’t choose me. You should never go it alone with something as important as bankruptcy, because an attorney could mean the difference between keeping your home and losing it.

If you’re thinking about filing bankruptcy on your own, I encourage you to reconsider. Contact me for a free appointment instead.