Legal Information From United States Bankruptcy Court
Middle District of Florida
General Warning About Proceeding Without An Attorney
Filing for bankruptcy may be done without an attorney. However, it is highly recommended that you retain the services of an attorney to guide you through this complex process. The bankruptcy laws are very technical and you are required to complete and sign, under penalty of perjury, various official forms. Your failure to complete these forms truthfully and timely may result in the dismissal of your case and may adversely affect any future bankruptcy filing.
Only an attorney can give you legal advice. The Bankruptcy Court Clerk’s Office staff is prohibited by law from providing legal advice and cannot aid debtors in the completion of required forms. Many typing and transcribing companies advertise as Bankruptcy Petition Preparers and for a fee, they will complete your bankruptcy forms with information you provide. Bankruptcy Petition Preparers are NOT attorneys and may NOT give legal advice. Their failure to timely and accurately complete your official forms may result in the dismissal of your case and may adversely affect any future bankruptcy filing.
If you filed for bankruptcy in the past, the manner in which that case was disposed of may further complicate a new bankruptcy case. You may not be eligible to receive the protection of the automatic stay, the automatic stay may be limited or you may not be eligible to receive a discharge of debts. These are issues that warrant the advice of competent legal counsel.
Bankruptcy for a debtor has long-term financial and legal consequences. This court strongly encourages you to obtain the assistance of an attorney.
Carolyn Secor is a Clearwater bankruptcy attorney and Clearwater foreclosure attorney serving Palm Harbor, New Port Richey, Oldsmar, Tarpon Springs, Seminole, St. Petersburg, and the Tampa Bay area.