Buyer Beware: Bankruptcy Petition Preparers

Posted by on Jan 24, 2012 in General Legal Topics | 0 comments

First, there are law abiding non-attorney bankruptcy preparers out there – they are rare but do exist.   In essence a law abiding non-attorney preparer transcribes information you provide them onto the bankrutpcy documents and schedules.  This realisitically makes any service that a bankruptcy petition preparer can provide very limited in scope.    Bankruptcy Petition Preparers are defined under Bankruptcy Code Section 110(a)(1).   See 11 USC Section 110.   Beware of someone who is not an attorney and offers to provide legal sercices related to bankruptcy – that is illegal under 110.   The preparer is required under law to disclose himself/herself on the petition you sign and file with the court.   The preparer is limited in the amount of money he/she can charge for services.   The preparer may not under any circumstance offer legal advice or fill out the forms on your behalf in any manner – you are supposed to tell the preparer what to fill in and how.

Read Section 110 for yourself.   You may decide that you might be better off filing bankruptcy on your own rather than hiring a bankruptcy petition preparer to help you, although I do suggest that you consult a bankruptcy attorney to discuss your financial and legal options.

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