While it is definitely possible to file your own bankruptcy petition, the process to get there is often fraught with a great deal of frustration and uncertainty. Thus it is wise to hire a skilled Iowa bankruptcy lawyer to avoid mistakes. There are so many documents that need to be filled out, rules that need to be followed and processes that must be undertaken, that it is very easy to run afoul of the system. If that happens, quite often the debtor, even though they meant well, finds themselves having to start all over again or is abruptly discharged and out of luck.
This is one of the major reasons why, when filing for bankruptcy, it makes sense to consult with an experienced Iowa bankruptcy lawyer. They know what they are doing and have been doing it for years. They do not miss deadlines, forget to file all the requisite papers or leave documents out of a filing because they are not sure what the court needs. Their job is to get it right for their clients.
There are do-it-yourself (DIY) kits that give a debtor an idea of the documents and procedures they need to go through to file. However, as with any DIY kit, there are always the issues no one can be prepared for, because every bankruptcy is different. The only thing they all have in common is the fact that the debtor went bankrupt. How they got there, what chapter they filed under and what they need to do to complete their bankruptcy varies on a case by case basis.
It is cheaper to file without a lawyer, but if you make a mistake, it will wind up being even more expensive. It is well worth the money to hire a professional that knows what they are doing because in the long run, they will save you time, money and grief.
Typically, the most common filing is under Chapter 7 and the fee charged to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is roughly $299. That may vary from state to state, so ask your lawyer or check the court website if this is something you want to know. The fee for filing a Chapter 13 is usually around about $274, but again, this may vary.
Overall, the fees a lawyer charges a debtor for the correct and timely filing of their particular bankruptcy petition, may range anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 plus court fees. This is money well spent to get it right the first time and get it done so you can get on with your life.
Basically, if you want to be safe, get it done right, file under the appropriate Chapter and get clear of your debts without running into problems, then hire a skilled and experienced Iowa bankruptcy lawyer. It is the only smart thing to do when faced with the daunting process of filing bankruptcy.