If Your Debts Are No Longer Manageable, Hire a Bankruptcy Lawyer, Not a Petition Preparer
If you live in New York City and you are considering using a Paralegal or Bankruptcy Petition Preparer use caution. First of all, do not give any such preparer a consulting fee. Often these paralegals will take the fee and tell you to hire an attorney.
If one actually prepares your petition proceed with caution. In the eyes of many trustees preparing a bankruptcy petition is the practice of law. Therefore, this would be the practicing of law without a license. Your case may even get thrown out and the paralegal can face serious charges. For this reasons the paralegals will often not allow their names to be put on your petition and if there is ever a need to make an change to it or amend it you are on your own.
Similarly, they typically do not stay in business long because trustees will sue them. Sure, if you are really in need of help it would feel relieving to hire a paralegal to prepare your papers and just risk the consequences but you are going to have to testify under oath that this person actually prepared your petition. If you lie under oath you risk very serious consequences.
When all is said and done, the fees charged by bankruptcy lawyers are usually quite reasonable in light of the benefits you receive. In most cases, the small savings associated with a petition preparer are not worth the risk.
If you need to file for Bankruptcy and live in New York City contact my office for a free in-depth consultation at 212-244-2882. We require an initial $500 retainer to get started and if there are additional amounts they can be made through a payment plan.