On multiple occasions I have been asked the question do I really need a lawyer to file a bankruptcy in New Jersey. The answer is more complicated than you would think. For an individual, you are not required to use a lawyer to file a bankruptcy. However, for most people it would be like asking if you need an experienced auto mechanic to fix your car. For most of us, if you want the car to run right after it has been fixed, doing it yourself is not the best option. Experienced attorneys understand that valuation of personal property, past financial dealings with relatives, reasonable and necessary monthly expenses, etc. all have special meaning in bankruptcy. Considering the significant benefit and debt reduction generally resulting from a bankruptcy, the relatively small cost in comparison to the amount saved generally more than justifies hiring the professional. Similarly, since arriving at court timely and traveling safely with family, among other things, makes it important for my vehicle to get where I am going, I always use an experienced mechanic.