Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Judges and staff at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California are taking a hard look at ways to better serve people who file for bankruptcy without a lawyer while having little or no understanding of the process and procedures. The court, which serves more than 18 million people in seven Southern California counties, reported 38,098 filings by self-represented debtors last fiscal year. That’s 30 percent of the total of self-represented bankruptcy filers nationally, and more than all of the other bankruptcy courts in the western states combined.
Court statistics show that a self-represented debtor is almost eight times more likely to have his or her Chapter 7 case dismissed than a debtor represented by counsel. The odds are even worse in Chapter 13 cases, which are often filed by homeowners seeking to avoid foreclosure. A self-represented debtor has less than a 1-percent chance of successfully completing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
More information here.