I Filed my Bankruptcy in New York City Pro se and the Trustee Told Me to Find a Lawyer

It’s not uncommon for a trustee to tell a bankruptcy petitioner to find an attorney to help them with their bankruptcy filing. If this has happened to you realize that you are not alone and that your bankruptcy case can likely be salvaged yet. In fact, many clients that come into our offices in Manhattan have already attempted to file their bankruptcy on their own, without an attorney, or “Pro Se.” For these clients we can usually clean up their existing bankruptcy case with a little work. Other clients may need to re-file their bankruptcy with our help in order to make it work, usually because of an issue with the bankruptcy means test.

For people that haven’t been through a bankruptcy since 2005 the means test is usually more complex than they anticipated. It’s relatively new still, and many petitioners not understanding the changes will unnecessarily risk valuable property that could have otherwise been protected with the advice of an attorney. If you have a rent stabilized apartment lease like many of our clients in New York City things can get even more complicated as some Chapter 7 trustees in New York City are now considering these leases to be assets that could potentially be liquidated to satisfy your creditors.

If you don’t know how to properly protect your assets in bankruptcy things can get messy quickly and the trustee will take your possessions including your home and automobile before you know it if you’re not careful. What’s even worse is sometimes a trustee will even sue you or your family or friends over fraudulent conveyances, which have nothing to do with real fraud but could hurt you badly nevertheless if you don’t have appropriate legal advice. Frankly, some trustees can get greedy; they can get a cut of your bankruptcy estate after all.

If you have found yourself in this position, don’t say another word about your bankruptcy case to the trustee or anyone else for that matter. Consult a qualified bankruptcy attorney before making another move. With most cases that have already been filed pro se our firm can put the case back on track for a small fee, or can help you re-file if that is your best option. If you live in New York City and have already had some trouble trying to file bankruptcy on your own it’s not too late to get the professional assistance you need. Everyone has the right to bankruptcy protection, but to get the most out of your discharge you really need the help of an attorney. If you live in New York City and have questions about getting a current bankruptcy case up to speed please contact the Law Office of William Waldner online or at 212.244.2882 to arrange a free bankruptcy consultation today. If you have already filed rest assured you will be in good hands no matter your financial situation. We only practice bankruptcy law and maintain a 99% Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge record in New York City as of 8/31/16.

**** DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for educational purposes only. By reading no attorney-client relationship has been created. Prior results do not guarantee a similar result for future clients.