Some people filing for bankruptcy use the services of a Bankruptcy Petition Preparer, a non-attorney who helps fill out the bankruptcy paperwork for a fee. If you are thinking of using a Bankruptcy Petition Preparer, you should be aware of the following:
- Federal Law requires all Bankruptcy Petition Preparers who help debtors file for bankruptcy to: (1) sign the bankruptcy documents; (2) provide their names, addresses, and social security numbers; and (3) list all fees that have been paid to them or are still owed to them.
- Federal Law prohibits Bankruptcy Petition Preparers from: (1) providing legal advice; (2) signing their clients’ names on documents; (3) collecting or receiving court filing fees; and (4) using the word “legal” in their advertisements.
- Some people have been victimized by deceptive or dishonest practices by Bankruptcy Petition Preparers. Bankruptcy Petition Preparers may charge too much for their services or may give you bad information that harms you. It also may be hard to get a refund of any money that you pay to a Bankruptcy Petition Preparer or collect other damages that you suffer.
If you use a Bankruptcy Petition Preparer and later have complaints, please contact the United States Trustee’s Office (503-326-4000 in Portland; 541-465-6330 in Eugene).