There are a few Bankruptcy forums or Q&A sites on the internet that allow people to post general questions about Bankruptcy. Almost on a daily basis people post questions that indicate they are, or intend to, go without a lawyer and do the case themselves. Rarely does this work out well as statistics show that about 5% of Chapter 13 cases even get to confirmed plans without a lawyer and not many more Chapter 7 cases are discharged. That is only half the equation, and it leaves out what is lost by not having a lawyer. A question from today is yet another example of the expensive decision to not have a lawyer. The poster filed a Chapter 7 without a lawyer only to find out that he had significant equity in a vehicle, over and above state law exemptions, and the Trustee intended on selling the car for the benefit of creditors. This person is probably going to lose his vehicle, or will have to come up with money to pay off the Trustee to make up for the $8,000+ in unexempt equity. Sure, he will get back the $3,000 in state law exemptions if the car sells but he won’t be able to get much of a car with that. Good Bankruptcy lawyers would have immediately identified this issue in pre-filing consultations and would have dealt with it and the cost for a lawyer for the entire case would have been far less than this person will lose. He may very well be counted as a “success” if he makes it to discharge, but the decision to save money by not hiring a lawyer was a very expensive one. Do not make this mistake, as even free consultations can show you what is at risk.