I'm sitting in a bankruptcy hearing listening to a pro se case. A pro se case is one where the filer is not represented by an attorney. This lady found the forms online and filled them out herself.
By not using an attorney, she has likely saved herself about $1,000.
However, due to a quirk in our state's laws, she is about to lose $6,000 in assets and has no idea. Not only does she not have any idea, she only has a few days to find out and get it right. She doesn't know that either.
Apparently, there are also several things wrong with her filing, because the court has issued a "show cause" asking her to defend herself against a possible contempt charge. She has no idea what that means, and has moved, so it appears that she is not getting letters from the court. A hearing date has been set for that, but again, she says she knows nothing about it.
Finally, she filed a separate motion with the court and was granted a hearing date. She is supposed to file a notice of the hearing. She has not done so and will soon run out of time. She filed that motion because the forms were online. Not only was the motion not necessary in the first place, but it will likely not be heard since she does not have a clue she has to file the notice. Since the motion will not be heard, it may affect the closing of her case.
All this for what appears to to be a routine case.
But at least she saved $1,000!