- Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is more popular than Chapter 13, costs about $1,500-$2,000, which is a huge amount, especially for someone who is in dire need of money in the first place.
- The lack of cheap bankruptcy choices also leaves close to a million potential consumers unable to afford it but who need it.
- It costs around $300 just to file for the necessary documents or forms to the federal court.
- Lawyers can charge large amounts of money to represent you in court.
Bankruptcy, like almost all things in this world, costs money; and unfortunately it may not be very affordable—or is it? Here are several different cheap bankruptcy alternatives that are surprisingly not used often enough by consumers.
One cheap bankruptcy alternative is credit counseling. To be clear, this does not pay off debts. A credit counselor or organization does not cover any of your debt, unless it extends loans or debt consolidations. However, a credit counseling session is an integral step to determine if you truly need to file for bankruptcy. It’s highly possible that because you’re too frustrated or suffocated by your pile of debt that you feel you need an easy way out—that is, bankruptcy. Or if you’re filing, a credit counseling session may be a requirement, and the bankruptcy record doesn’t stay under your name.
These sessions usually don’t require any form of payment. You simply need to see an accredited or recognized counselor working for a non-profit organization or in your local community center. The sessions can last for days or a couple of weeks. The bottom line is you’ll learn strategies on how to manage your present debts very well. It may also help convince your creditors you’re doing something with finances. They may grant you with a longer grace period to settle repayments.
Chapter 13 may be the cheap bankruptcy option you’re looking for. It’s not meant for everyone, but if you pursue it, it means you’re not wiping all your debts away. Instead, you’re structuring repayment. As its name suggests, this is meant for someone who is cash-strapped—for example, you suddenly lose your job and your creditors are coming after you. Filing for Chapter 13 offers you some form of protection, that is, creditors cannot immediately run after your assets or harass you. Meanwhile, they need to abide to the repayment plan that you’re most comfortable with, giving you ample time to raise the money, pay debts over time, and get yourself on track again.
Another smart cheap bankruptcy choice is to file it on your own. Most of the application forms and documents you need can be obtained easily, even online. If you need a guide, you can check out this post about Filing Cheap Bankruptcy on your own. The main problem with this one, however, is that bankruptcy, especially in some cases, may not be as simple as you’d like to think. This may only make you prone to costlier or more serious mistakes.
If you want to find bankruptcy lawyers, you can look for volunteer lawyers. They normally work in your locality or non-profit organization. They are fully registered lawyers who are offering their services in gratis as a way of giving back to the community. They are great, but knowing many may choose their services, it may take a while before your case is handled.
Cheap Bankruptcy Lawyers
Dig a little deeper, and you can surely meet cheap bankruptcy lawyers. They may offer free debt counseling and initial consultation. They have packages with prices that are all inclusive. Others are open to installment plans.
Whatever you choose, just know that bankruptcy should be your last option. It’s something that will stick on your credit for a long period of time, and will prevent you from gaining any credit like buying a house/car etc. for several years. The plus side is that it might allow you to get back on your feet and finally get out from the mountain of debt that you find yourself in.