Utah Debtor's Legal Relief47 North Main Street, Ste. 2
Kaysville, Utah 84037
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HoursMonday - Friday: 9am to 5pm
* After hours appointments are available
Payment Types AcceptedCash, Check, Debit
Visa, MasterCard, Discover
Representing Yourself- Pro Se
A "pro se litigant" is a person who has decided against hiring a lawyer in favor of self represention in a court case.
There are many reasons that a person chooses to represent themselves in court. But the question is, should they?
Corporations and partnerships must have an attorney to file a bankruptcy case. Individuals, however, may represent themselves in bankruptcy court. While individuals can file a bankruptcy case without an attorney or "pro se," it is extremely difficult to do it successfully. Bankruptcy law is extremely complicated. In order to competently prepare a bankruptcy case, one not only needs to be familiar with Title 11 of the United States Code, but also the Federal Bankruptcy Rules, the Local Bankruptcy Rules, and applicable case law in the local Utah Bankruptcy Court, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, the United State Supreme Court, and in both the Utah Court of Appeals and the Utah Supreme Court.
While you have the right to represent yourself in court, you should not expect any special treatment, help, or attention from the court. You must still comply with the Rules of the Court, even if you are not familiar with them.
It is very important that a bankruptcy case be filed and handled correctly. The rules are very technical, and a misstep may affect a debtor's rights. For example, a debtor whose case is dismissed for failure to file a required document, such as a credit counseling certificate, may lose the right to file another case or lose protections in a later case, including the benefit of the automatic stay.Bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences - hiring a competent attorney is strongly recommended.
We frequently receive phone calls from people who have represented themselves in a court case and are now needing help to correct a problem they have created or have gotten themselves into. Often we cannot help them as courts generally do not back up and revisit matters already decided, and the times when we can help them, what would have costed only a few hundred dollars had they come to us in the beginning now costs a lot more.
WARNING - We urge you to be very weary of using anyone other than an attorney to help you prepare your bankruptcy papers. There are a few people out there who are not attorneys who offer to help others prepare their bankruptcy papers. These people cannot give legal advice and quite honestly it is puzzling as to exactly how anyone can competently help another prepare their bankruptcy papers without doing so. Do not become a victim and be lulled into a false sense of security by one who is not an attorney, only just to save a few dollars. It is not worth it, especially if your bankruptcy papers are not prepared correctly. Remember, you are going to sign them under penality of perjury, and the Court will hold you responsible for all the problems therein.
Bottomline: The court system and the bankruptcy code and rules can be confusing and it is a good idea to get a lawyer if you can.
Give us a call today to see how we can assist you!