A bankruptcy petition preparer is a non-lawyer who helps debtors to file their bankruptcy documents required by the bankruptcy court for a fee. Bankruptcy petition preparers are called “paralegals” but may not give legal advice, represent debtors in court, sign bankruptcy documents, or accept money on debtor’s behalf. Instead, they only type paperwork and charge a reasonable fee. They also cannot advertise to imply that they offer legal service.
If bankruptcy petition preparers cause debtors’ legal or economic injury because of their negligence, intentionally disregarding laws, fraud, or deceptive or unfair acts, then debtors have the right to ask for compensation from them, including actual damages, service fees, as well as the attorney’s fees of bringing the motion.
[Last updated in July of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]