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Anyone know of a reputable online bankruptcy prep company?

Question by Michelle A: Anyone know of a reputable online bankruptcy prep company?
We’re looking into filing chapter 7 (not the prettiest option but honestly the only at this point) and hoping to save some money. While I’ve considered attempting to do it myself (we have a straightforward bankruptcy and qualify by a longshot) I did see there are quite a few online companies which could make it easier and be more affordable than an attorney. Yes, an attorney is still the safest bet but I’m wondering if there are any online companies anyone are aware of that aren’t a total crock (which, unfortunately, is most of what I’m seeing!) Thanks in advance.

Answer by westphalia1

2 Responses

  1. Nolo Press has a workbook on filing for bankruptcy. It includes the forms. It’s a little bit of work on your part, but is well worth it.


  2. These on-line firms are a big gamble. The problem is that unless the firm you choose has an attorney licensed to practice in your state, it is probably practicing law without a license, if it gives you ANY legal advice whatsoever. Non-attorneys (including paralegals) are only legally allowed to help you fill out forms, meaning “do the typing”, “correct your spelling”, etc. – they are NOT allowed (legally) to give you any kind of legal advice whatsoever, or to file your bankruptcy on your behalf or represent you in court.

    Even if the firm you select does have an attorney licensed to practice in your state, it is unethical for an attorney to represent a client he or she has never met. So if the “attorney” is just some distant figure that you never actually meet (a figurehead who lends his or her name to work done by non-attorneys) this is really no better than the ones that are practicing law without a license.

    Most bankruptcy attorneys offer one free or very low cost appointment to evaluate your financial situation and advise you of your options. If I were you, I would take advantage of this, schedule a free appointment with one or several local bankruptcy attorneys, and talk to the attorney about – among other things – your concern about being able to afford the attorney’s fee.

    Best wishes.

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