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Bankruptcy - Should you go it alone?

No matter how confident you are, there are still some things better left to experts. For example, a do-it-yourself bankruptcy makes about as much sense as a do-it-yourself appendectomy. It's potentially about as painful as well. The problem is, of course, that the laws are evolving and changing. And you might end up losing what could have been saved.

No matter how prepared you are, you are still an innocent pulling up to the poker table with pros. For example, in a Chapter 7 case, it's the bankruptcy trustee's job to find assets, and the more he/she finds, the more commission he/she makes when those assets are distributed. These people are not your friends.

Then there is the whole issue of whether you can even declare bankruptcy. The "means test" looks at your income for the six months before you declare, and if your means change in the following month or so - a new job, an inheritance, the sale of some property - that might alter everything. Suddenly, what you thought was exempt isn't. And make no mistake, anything can make you more vulnerable to your creditors.

At The Drake Firm, we might suggest reasons to put a bankruptcy on hold for a while, but we always work with the client to make any revisions necessary in the information before we proceed. As we have said, declaring bankruptcy sends you into dangerous territory. It's better if you go armed with good legal advice.