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socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 37871
Experience:  Attorney and Real Estate Broker -- Retired (mostly)
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Was it illegal for the bankruptcy preparer to give me a list

Resolved Question:

Was it illegal for the bankruptcy preparer to give me a list of websites to use as a sample to complete my chapter 7 petition. She didn't tell me which site to chose but I did use one of the ones on the list as well as the key words suggested to use in my online search.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.
Bankr. Code § 110(e) provides a list of those things that a bankruptcy preparer is prohibited from doing.

In particular, a bankruptcy preparer may not provide legal advice. The term "Legal advice" is one of the most difficult legal terms to define with certainty -- primarily because by maintaining its ambiguity (some might argue, unconstitutional vagueness), it is far more difficult for nonlawyers to try to find a loophole with which to practice law without practicing law (for lack of a better phrase) -- and equally difficult for lawyers to engage in unlawful partnerships with nonlawyers who try to obtain payment for assisting lawyers in practicing law. In point of fact, no Michigan case either in federal or state court, defines the term with certainty.

In general, legal advice may be described the act of advocating a course of action in connection with a legal matter. Whereas a recitation of statutory law is not legal advice, because it merely states what is factually true.

For a bankruptcy preparer to provide a list of websites where sample bankruptcy pleadings may be found, is not, in my opinion, legal advice, because the list does not advocate any particular course of action. It merely states what is factually true, i.e., that the sites provided contain information about how to complete a bankruptcy petition.

Hope this helps.

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