Bankruptcy Attorney or Petition Preparer: Which Should You Hire?

Bankruptcy attorney vs. Petition preparer

You can turn to either a bankruptcy attorney or a petition preparer if you need help filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. But, be aware that the two types of professionals do not offer the same scope of services.

To learn about how a bankruptcy attorney differs from a petition preparer – and why working with a lawyer is often the smartest plan – read on.

What a Bankruptcy Attorney Can Do for You

An attorney can handle your bankruptcy case from start to finish, guiding you through the entire process.

Hire a bankruptcy attorney, and you can expect:

  • A sound legal opinion on whether filing a claim is in your best interest
  • Professional advice on which type of case – Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 – you should pursue
  • Expert preparation and prompt filing of the necessary paperwork
  • Skillful representation at every hearing

What a Bankruptcy Petition Preparer Offers

A petition preparer can fill out the forms that are necessary for filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 claim.

Professional petition preparers are not lawyers, so they only function as a typing service. They often have software programs that allow for easy document completion, but you still need to give your input and guidance. A petition preparer cannot legally offer advice on:

  • Whether or not bankruptcy is right for you
  • The type of claim you should file
  • Which debts and assets to list
  • Which property exemptions to claim

In addition, if you hire a petition preparer, you’ll need to file your own paperwork and represent yourself at every bankruptcy hearing.

Why Hiring a Bankruptcy Attorney is the Right Decision 

Petition preparers charge much less than attorneys for their services, so hiring one can seem like a bargain. However, going that route means you’ll have to spend time researching how the bankruptcy process works, which debts you can discharge and what property you can protect – you won’t have any help or guidance.

Hire a bankruptcy lawyer, and you’ll have access to expert legal advice regarding your claim. An attorney will guide you every step of the way, taking the stress out of filing for bankruptcy – you won’t have to fill out the paperwork, file the claim or represent yourself. And, if your case hits a snag, you’ll have an advocate in your corner.

If you’re thinking of filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 and you live in northern Utah, the Law Office of Davis & Jones, P.C., can put you on the path to financial relief. Our bankruptcy lawyers have a combined 40 years of legal experience, and we can assist with every aspect of your case.

Let the Law Office of Davis & Jones, P.C. help you get a fresh financial start. Contact our Salt Lake City, Utah, office and schedule a complimentary bankruptcy attorney consultation today.