In addition to filing fees, you are also responsible for paying your attorney's fees when you file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Unfortunately, if you are strapped for cash, paying the attorney's fees can seem like a huge debt that you cannot overcome. If you cannot afford an attorney, there are several options you have available to you.
You are not legally required to hire an attorney when you want to file a petition for bankruptcy. You can file the petition alone. If you do decide to go this route, it is important that you carefully study the requirements for bankruptcy. One mistake could result in the judge dismissing your petition.
Bankruptcies are very complex. If you feel that you cannot handle it alone, look to one of the other options for filing.
Legal aid services are available in most states. You have to meet income requirements to qualify for assistance. The qualifications can vary from office to office. You can contact the legal aid office in your area to learn whether or not you qualify.
There are also some courts that have free clinics that provide help with navigating the bankruptcy system. There might be other services available in the area to help you. Contact your local court in your area and ask for a list of services available to you.
A Chapter 13 filing might be best if legal aid and filing alone are not options for you. In a Chapter 13 filing, your bankruptcy attorney's fees could be listed as one of the debts that you owe. When you, your attorney, and the bankruptcy trustee set up the repayment plan to pay off your debtors, you can simply add in your attorney's fees.
There is a catch though. You have to show the court that you are financially able to make the monthly repayment amount. If you cannot, filing for a Chapter 13 is not a possibility.
Talk to your attorney about setting up an installment plan. The attorney could possibly break up his or her total fee into installments that you can make prior to filing for bankruptcy. Your attorney might not file your bankruptcy petition until after you finish paying for his or her services.
You do not have to continue to leave in a financial whirlwind because you cannot afford a bankruptcy attorney right now. Talk to your attorney and explore all of the options that are available to you. For more information contact a local law firm, like Klafter & Mason LLC.
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