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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cost of Filing Bankruptcy

I often times hear the comment if I could afford your fees I would not be in the financial mess that I am in. On average attorney's fees to file a Chapter 7 will be in the neighborhood of $2,000. Sometimes the cost will be lower, sometimes higher.

I will have people say that they can pay $125 on the Internet and file. My response is if that is really what you want to do then go ahead. However before you make that decision and think an attorney is too expensive, do you know the law and how it affects you, do you know whether the 10 year look back period will apply to your case, what about the insurance check you have not cashed, or the tax refurn you have not gotten yet, etc...

If you owe $10,000 or more in credit card, medical, repossession debt, etc... my question to you is how can you not afford to have an attorney on your side protecting your interest? Ben Franklin once said "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". Meaning you file your bankruptcy and the case gets dismissed or is in the process of being dismissed and now the attorney's fees may double because it may take the attorney twice as much work to protect you or correct the mistakes. This is assuming that an attorney will even take your case at that point. Many attorneys will not touch a bankruptcy case today that started out as a pro se case because of all the new requirements under the bankruptcy code.

If this new law was cut and dry there would be no caselaw to decide, no arguments made by the creditor or the debtor and people could file their case by themselves. However, there are many issues undecided throughout the United States pertaining to the law. What about the issue of credit counseling? Can you take the course and file in the same day or do you have to wait 24 hrs? This answer alone can make the difference between succeeding in your bankruptcy or having your case dismissed.

If you are in the State of Missouri and believe you truly cannot afford a bankruptcy you may seek help from the Missouri Voluntary Attorney Project at (816) 474-6750 or Missouri VAP. For other states you can go to Pro Bono Programs. These folks maybe able to help you file your bankruptcy for free.

By law I must disclose to any potential client that they can represent themselves in the bankruptcy court or use a petition preparer who is not allowed to go to court with them. If the bankruptcy attorneys and judges have been studying this law for the past two years and who continue to debate everyday in court this alone should be evidence that the new and allegedly improved bankruptcy code is NOT as cut and dry as the creditors would want you to believe.

Be informed and protect your rights! Seek the advice of a qualified bankruptcy attorney in your area and get the facts. Find an attorney in your area.

3 comments:

Mill said...
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Mill said...
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Hill said...

Looking for help with California Bankruptcy Lawyers? Not sure bankruptcy is the right choice?