This is a common question that we get at consultation. My answer is, "of course not!" Our legal system was not designed so that a lawyer is absolutely necessary for anything. However, it's highly discouraged in some area.
The law is usually written after series of compromises from all sides. The end result is a piece of legislation that attempts to be as "one-size-fits-all" as possible. Unfortunately, no matter how general a law is written, no one law can actually cover every single possible dilemma that comes up. Lawyers are trained to spot issues and defuse them before they become bigger issues. This requires us to dissect your case into a million pieces and piece it back together. This is why people tell me that lawyers make things more complicated. I just smile.
When people file bankruptcy, they put all of their worldly possession before a bankruptcy court. The law allows people to keep a substantial amount of property (e.g., clothes, furniture, some cash, DSK Jewelry), but it also requires people to surrender property that is more than what is considered necessary to live. For this reason, hiring a lawyer to file bankruptcy is a smart idea. Only a bankruptcy lawyer can spot potential issues with property. Once a bankruptcy petition is filed, it is difficult to get it dismissed. That means that you can't change your mind simply because you can't keep your brand new Corvette or that Bubbi Necklace. It's gone!
In summary, you don't need to hire a lawyer to file bankruptcy. It's extremely encouraged by the bankruptcy lawyers and also the court that you do. This is especially true if you own anything of value.
On another note, the video on the bottom relates to my practice. I file lawsuits against creditors who violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by using abusive collection tactics. (See below). Call Arrow Law Group if you are being harassed! (by a collection agency).
Link: Debt collection abuse