Response from Michael Cotter, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Eastern District of Virginia:
I would strongly recommend against attempting to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy without the assistance of a competent Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney. The majority of pro se Debtors are unaware that the out-of-pocket cost of filing the Chapter 13 bankruptcy is minimal. Very frequently, a Debtor has elected to file a Chapter 13 case without the assistance of an attorney because the Debtor believes that he or she simply “cannot afford it.” Most pro se Debtors are surprised to learn that all or part of the attorney’s fee can be included in their Plan payment and thus the upfront cost is, in fact, affordable.
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