Though bankruptcy lawyers are who most people usually seek help from, there are other non-lawyer service providers which aid in the whole bankruptcy petition. These are known as the bankruptcy petition preparers and have grown popular over the years.
Bankruptcy petition preparers are people or businesses, other than a lawyer or someone who works for a lawyer, that charges a fee to prepare bankruptcy documents. They produce the papers and documents which you will file to the bankruptcy court which they either type or input into a bankruptcy program.
However, since bankruptcy petition preparers are not lawyers, they are not allowed to provide any legal advice when it comes to certain things like whether or not you should really file for bankruptcy or which type of bankruptcy would be best suited for you and other similar questions.
This means that you need to know about the bankruptcy process yourself and should understand the bankruptcy law in order to know about your discharge, what will happen to your property in the bankruptcy, and what laws should be used to exempt your property from being taken for the benefit of your creditors.
Also, you must submit the papers yourself since they are only there to prepare the bankruptcy petitions and documents for you. This also means that you have to represent yourself in court. Simply said, you will be responsible for yourself during the entire bankruptcy process. The bankruptcy petition preparer will only be a typing or inputting service for you and cannot represent you legally in court.
Though the bankruptcy petition preparers will not help you legally, they can be a great help if you don’t have a typewriter or computer available for use or if you do not know how to use any of them. A good bankruptcy petition preparer will have up-to-date bankruptcy computer software that will generate the documents quickly and relatively easily.
However, it is best that before you hire a bankruptcy petition preparer, you should learn about the bankruptcy law and the bankruptcy process as well. You should also learn about what they can and cannot do, what legal requirements apply to their businesses, and where to get more bankruptcy information and legal help. It is always best to seek legal help from bankruptcy attorneys at first before you dive into filing for bankruptcy so you will not have any problems with the process.
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