Bankruptcy without a lawyer? According to a report by the Clerk of Court for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California (Los Angeles and surrounding areas) summarizing statistics for 2011, the discharge rates vary dramatically depending on whether an individual is represented by an attorney. The discharge rates for pro se (acting as own attorney) are below.
CHAPTER 7 (straight bankruptcy) – Individuals without an attorney received a discharge of their debts in 61% of cases with 39% of cases being dismissed and debts reinstated. Individuals with an attorney received a discharge of their debts in approximately 95% of cases.
CHAPTER 13 (personal reorganization) – Individuals without an attorney had their plan confirmed (approved) in less than 1% of cases. Individuals with an attorney had their plan confirmed (approved) in 55% of the cases.
No attempt was made to distinguish between attorneys but as with all things some are better than others. The link to the complete report is below.
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