1. If you make a mistake and your bankruptcy petition is dismissed, it will likely cost you several hundred dollars extra to reinstate it. Approximately 50% of pro se filings get dismissed! There are also restrictions in place that prevent "serial filers." They might impede you from refiling. You could end up with a bankruptcy filing on your credit record and no relief.
2. There are some things that are considered fraud in a bankruptcy filing. If you commit any of them, you could find yourself facing criminal prosecution. Most people are unaware of what they are. Did you know that transferring some of your property to a family member prior to filing may constitute fraud?
3. Without the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney, you may lose a valuable asset. For example, in Arizona, if you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your car is protected as long as you have less than $5000 equity in it. If you have more equity in than that, you may lose your car. Do you own an RV or a boat? You may lose them in a bankruptcy unless you have taken the proper steps to prevent it from happening. A knowledgeable attorney will know how to deal with these kinds of situation before you file.
4. There are certain pre-filing requirements that must be satisfied or your petition will be dismissed.
5. Many debtors will be required to prepare a "means test," which is a very complicated assessment of your expenses and bills. It is so complex that most attorneys use software to ensure that it is done properly.
6. Creditors may challenge some of your bankruptcy. You need a skilled, aggressive litigator who knows how to deal with them.
7. The current bankruptcy law is 500 pages long, and became much more complex in 2005.
8. Peace of mind knowing your bankruptcy will be handled by someone experienced in the law.
9. Many bankruptcy lawyers offer free consultations. What do you have to lose?
10. Have you ever encountered an attorney who thought it was a good idea to file bankruptcy pro se?