Filing for bankruptcy is not so expensive for someone. If you are not capable to pay the fee then you can ask the judge for a filing fee waiver form when they file for bankruptcy for free, when you are able for it. Consumer bankruptcy- the aim of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy is to provide debt relief to the people who are struggling with too much debt.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves the repayment plan and also reserved for the people with a regular monthly income. As a result, the one who is filing bankruptcy under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code usually means that he is not eligible for the filing fee waiver. Even, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy process, this will be complex, so hiring a bankruptcy lawyer for the case will be a good investment. Even that means you have to pay the fee to the lawyer for any legal help.
On the other hand, Chapter 7 bankruptcy, gives the people with low or no income a fresh start. And this type of bankruptcy can be easily filled by the filers who are eligible for this. Let us start to look at what types of fees are included in the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy:
Which costs are included in the chapter 7 bankruptcy?
- Fee for filing bankruptcy in court
- Fees of attorney
- Fees for credit counseling and financial management course
Which costs can be avoided when filing chapter 7 bankruptcy?
- Attorneys fee
- Bankruptcy court filing fee
- Fees for Credit counseling and financial management course
Yes, it is right. The eligible filers are allowed to file for chapter 7 for free. If your household income is less than 150% of the federal poverty level, then you can ask for a bankruptcy judge to waive your court fee, you can attach a simple application for the fee waiver form along with your bankruptcy petition. Plus, you are also eligible for the fee waiver for credit counseling and financial management courses.
You can avoid attorney fees by filing without a bankruptcy attorney
You do not need to hire a bankruptcy lawyer for filing the bankruptcy case, because the bankruptcy law, allows an individual (and married couples) to file the case, without any lawyer (“pro se”). But we cannot say that filing for bankruptcy without any lawyer is always going in the best way. While the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process is straightforward, but by chance, if your case is too complicated then hiring a lawyer for the case can save your lots of money in the long run.
If you don’t want to hire an attorney for your case then you will be eligible for a filing fee waiver from the bankruptcy court and you can also take help for free legal help from a local aid organization.
Use the various ways to pay for the legal help, when you do not have any money in the first place
If you are not eligible for the legal aid and you need the help of the bankruptcy attorney for your case, but there are the things that you can pay for the attorney’s fees. Most of the bankruptcy lawyers know that it is hard to pay the whole payment in one lump sum and offers the payment plans to their clients. So that, when they say for their payment “upfront” that means you have to pay “before your bankruptcy case is filed” and it is not necessary, that you have to come with lump sum payment somehow.
In the case, if you are not facing the garnishment soon and you have time filing the bankruptcy case, then you can consider some of the following points:
- You can use your tax refund to pay the attorney’s fees: In March and April, the consumer filing bankruptcy cases are more than the whole year, because at this time many people take benefit of legal help for their tax return.
- You have to stop paying your unsecured debts: like credit card debt. And use that money for paying the lawyer whom you hire for your work.
- You can sell something that is not protected with the exemption: Your property can be sold by the bankruptcy trustee for paying your creditors when you file for the bankruptcy and that is not protected by the exemption. If you know it already that the things you have and they are not protected, then it is okay to sell it on the fair market value, and the money you get use that for paying the lawyer.
There is the best thing that you can talk with the bankruptcy lawyer to schedule a free consultation and ask them about the recommendation on how to pay them.
How to file for chapter 7 with no money when you are not eligible for a filing fee waiver
If your household income is more than 150% of the federal poverty line, then you can easily pass the means test and qualify for debt relief under Chapter 7. But it doesn’t mean that you can apply for the fee waiver from the bankruptcy court.
If you are subjected to the garnishment then it may be possible to come up with the $335 at one time. And in such a case, you can ask the court for the payment plan to pay the court filing fee. You can submit the payment plan application with your bankruptcy form and with the down payment (that is usually around the $80, but it also varies from court to court). The automatic stay will kick in the wage garnishment will have to stop. After that, you get the chance of paying the remaining fee of the court and so your bankruptcy case will continue.
Even there are bankruptcy fees in the form of credit counseling, court fees, attorney fees, eligible filers can file their Chapter 7 bankruptcy case for free.