Filing for Bankruptcy: What do I do?

December 2, 2011 by The ME Law Firm

The cost of filing a bankruptcy:

The cost of filing a bankruptcy is normally $299 if you are filing a Chapter 7 and $274 if you are filing a chapter 13.  There are additional attorney’s fee and both may be paid on installments. If you are unable to afford the filing fees, a waiver may be possible.  For a Chapter 7, if your income is less than 150% of the poverty guidelines, you may request a waiver of the filing fees.  This filing fee cannot be waived in a chapter 13, but an installment plan is an option.

What to do before bankruptcy?

The first thing is to speak to an attorney at Myers & Eichelberger and find out if a bankruptcy is even right for you. Never assume that bankruptcy is the only way out.  Within 180 days of filing for bankruptcy, the debtor must attend a credit counseling course for an approved agency.  This is normally done on the internet and they will assist you in budgeting and review the available options.  After completing the course, a certificate will be given to you that is filed with the Federal Court in your bankruptcy course.  The fees for this course is normally around $50 for the pre-filing counseling.  Based on your financial needs, a course may be granted at no charge or at a reduced fee.  One thing of note is to beware of scams and courses that are only looking to scam you out of your money.  In addition, just because they are approved, does not mean they are legitimate.

There are also debt management companies that seek to assist you to pay back your debt.  In this case, you provide a monthly check to them and they pay your bills.  These companies can also be scams or not a good fit for your financial situation.  Before agreeing to a contract with a company like this, always contact us at Myers & Eichelberger first for a free consultation.

Some good rules of thumb are that bankruptcy may be the best option for you and it does not make you a bad person.  Bankruptcy comes from ancient text in a book entitled Leviticus.  If you join a debt management company and agree to a deal that is unreasonable, you may be forced to file bankruptcy in the future. Most of the approved counseling does not off debt management plans.  Meeting with an attorney is important at this stage as they can give you the legal advice you need to help you turn a bad situation into a situation that you can live with.  Filing bankruptcy is all about helping you through a difficult time period.

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