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Do-it-yourself bankruptcy: Truly, can that ever make sense?

No reasonable person in Florida or elsewhere would ever seek to save money on a root canal by enlisting the services of a person other than a dentist to perform that procedure.

Likewise, it would be inexplicable for any person to solicit detailed and technical medical advice from a lay person non-credentialed in medicine.

Many jurists, members of state bars, legal commentators and other participants in the legal field similarly view with concern that ready reliance on legal-related tracts, forms and related documents prepared by persons with no background in law brings harm to many unwary consumers.

Indeed, we remarked on that in a website article addressing “do it yourself” bankruptcy kits being relied upon by some Florida residents, and we revisit the subject here owing to its continuing relevance and timeliness.

The subject remains relevant because of the sheer proliferation of legal how-to forms that intend to guide users through complex legal processes without any assistance from a professional in the field.

The subject -- debt relief generally and bankruptcy specifically -- also continues to be timely, owing to Florida’s persistent status as the leading state for home foreclosures. Many people remain desperate concerning their houses and continuing ability to make regular payments sufficient to stay in them. Some persons who think that bankruptcy might be a viable option seek guidance from non-professionals and bookstore pamphlets.

That has proven detrimental in many instances across the county. Indeed, the above-cited article notes that Florida residents lacking knowledge of their rights and legal remedies “should seek assistance form a person licensed to practice law.”

A Florida bankruptcy attorney is professionally trained, proven in the practice area, subject to legal rules and discipline, bound by attorney-client privilege and required at all times to act in a manner that promotes a client’s best interests.

Reliance upon that combination of traits and professional duties can far exceed any do-it-yourself strategy for ensuring optimal outcomes to complex matters.

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