The American Bankruptcy Institute just came out with a new study showing the success rates of pro se Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings. Pro se simply means debtors who file a bankruptcy without the assistance of a qualified bankruptcy attorney. What did they find? If you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy without the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney you only have a 2.3% chance of successfully completing your Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan.
Why does this matter? By filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, pro se, you have a chance of losing money and property. If a bankruptcy plan is unsuccessful and dismissed then creditors are able to go after the debtor for the original debt as well as any late fees, penalties and attorney fees. Additionally, there would be no automatic stay to prevent creditors from beginning the process of repossessing or foreclosing on property.
Bankruptcy, especially Chapter 13 bankruptcy, is a complicated area of the law filled with “land mines” for the unprepared debtor. Most bankruptcy attorneys, like we do, offer free consultations so you are able to determine what options are available and how to best navigate those potential “land mines.”