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Filing Bankruptcy By Yourself Without a Lawyer in MD (Maryland)

Updated on January 16, 2014

Sometimes Chapter 7 is the Only Way Out

With everything that is going on with the current economy crisis many families are finding that they are having to file chapter 7 bankruptcy as a last resort to keep their heads above water. Let's face it, many people are unemployed and buried in credit card debt.

People don't just wake up and decide to file bankruptcy. Filing bankruptcy it is usually a last resort for families. As a matter a fact, 70 people who try debt consolidation end up failing because very little of the money invested actually goes to the debt and instead goes to different fees. So it could take years to get rid or your debt.  Many people look at bankruptcy as a way to start over from scratch and for many others, bankruptcy is the only option.

Do It Yourself Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

You do NOT need an Attorney to File Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptsy

Many people think that in order to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy you need to hire a bankruptcy attorney which can cost $2000 or more. This is not true at all.

With or without an attorney you will spend lots of time gathering documents and information that you will need to fill out your bankruptcy forms. Thinks like 2 years worth of tax returns, 6 months worth of pay stubs, list of creditors, list of expenses etc. This information is needed to fill out the documents to file.

If you file with a bankruptcy lawyer, you will paying them fill out the forms for you and then he/she will have his clerk run to the court house to file on your behalf.

Or you could go online and print out the forms yourself then go to the court house to file. This takes more work, but could save you lots of money.

Okay, maybe you are afraid that you will not fill out the forms correctly or not know what forms to use. No problem. There are many sites like Bankruptcy Online Today that are designed to show you step by step how to fill out the forms and they are very in expensive usually less than $100. Then you can print them out or have them sent to you. And then all you need to do is go to the court house to file.

How do I File Bankruptcy Without a Lawyer? Do it yourself bankruptcy

  • Collect the following items...proof of income (pay stubs, tax returns), list of creditors with most recent billing statements, list of all expenses including rent/mortgage, car payment, gas, electric, telephone, food, clothing.
  • I suggest you take a "means test" to see if you have the means to pay off this debt. There are many means tests available on line. Just do a Google Search.
  • Order a copy of your credit report from all 3 credit bureaus. You are allowed to get a free credit report from each bureaus once a year. By doing this, you can see if you are missing any creditors. You want to make sure they are all included in the bankruptcy.
  • Before you can file a bankruptcy case, you must complete a pre bankruptcy counseling or Bankruptcy Certificate from an approved agency. It is very important to keep the certificate that you receive as you will need to have this in order to file.
  • File out your forms at your local bankruptcy court. You will need to pay a $300 filing fee. This can not be in the form of a check. Cash only.
  • While you are waiting to hear from the courts, complete your 2nd Credit Counseling course. Again, Keep your Certificate. You will need to give it to the clerk.
  • You will receive a notice in the mail for your Meeting of the creditors.
  • Go to the meeting with the creditors.
  • Gather any items or documents that the trustee has requested.
  • Wait for you discharge papers to come in the mail.


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    • profile image

      Johna484 3 years ago

      I dugg some of you post as I cogitated they were very useful extremely helpful bkacacfbbddd

    • Wendy Krick profile image

      Wendy Krick 7 years ago from Maryland

      Thank you scla for your comment. I appreciate it.

      I had a lawyer tell me the same thing. He wanted me to give him over $2000 plus court cost etc. I didn't have the money.

      So I filed on my own. When I filed, the trusties requested one other item. I mailed it to them within 10 days. And then received the discharge papers about a month or so later. The good thing is that the trusties will tell you anything you need and then give you time to complete it. But even before you meet with the trusties when you submit your papers to the clerks office the clerk is happy to answer questions.

      I agree, if it isn't a simple Chapter 7 you may want to get legal help. But if otherwise, it is pretty straight forward. If I can do it, anyone can do it. (wink)

    • scla profile image

      scla 7 years ago from Southern California

      It is true that you don't need to file bankruptcy with a lawyer but there are many tricky situations where it is advisable to do so. I have had many clients who first attempted to file on their own only to have the trustee tell them to redo their paperwork because it was not correctly completed. You can file on your own but also be aware that there may be legal pitfalls that you may be unaware of.

    • Wendy Krick profile image

      Wendy Krick 7 years ago from Maryland

      Thank you Hello, hello

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Very well written and helpful for people who are in the worst moment of their life. Thank you.

    • Wendy Krick profile image

      Wendy Krick 7 years ago from Maryland

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Social Discomfort profile image

      Social Discomfort 7 years ago from Central Valley, CA

      Useful, clear, and concise. Great hub, thank you.