Don't Go Bankrupt Filing for Bankruptcy!
For whatever looming financial disaster that threatens your happiness, bankruptcy may be an option to help resolve your concerns and put you back on the path to financial freedom. So, you diligently explored your options, and determine that bankruptcy is the best route for you. Now what?
What are the Costs?Filing for bankruptcy, in Metro Detroit or anywhere else, is not necessarily cheap. First, after Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (or “BAPCPA”) in 2005, all individual bankruptcy filers must complete both a pre-filing credit counseling, and pre-discharge financial management course to successfully file for, and obtain, a bankruptcy discharge. These courses on average, depending on which agency you choose to utilize, range anywhere from $15.00 to $50.00 per course. Then the Court itself charges a filing fee. Currently, the filing fee for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $335.00; and it is $310.00 to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief. Lastly comes the attorney fees, which will vary as much with what type of bankruptcy relief you may be required to seek, the complexities of each unique case, or the attorney you select to handle your case.
What are my options?You do have options. Depending on your financial circumstances, you may qualify for a waiver of some of these costs. The credit counseling agencies, for example, each have their own guidelines to determine if you may qualify for a waiver of, or at least a reduced cost, of the fees to complete the required courses.
Additionally, the Bankruptcy Court itself may be able to waive the filing fee, or at least allow you to pay it over a short period of time in manageable installments. However, such waivers are not available to everyone; you must qualify under strict financial guidelines.
Finally, finding an attorney that is both competent, experienced and sensitive to your own unique financial circumstances is key to keeping your costs to a minimum. Some bankruptcy attorneys may agree to accept cases for a reduced fee, or even agree to provide their services pro bono (free of charge). Additionally, you may find that many bankruptcy attorneys, including Carpenter Law, are willing to accept periodic payment towards their fees.
What are the benefits?Almost universally, the benefits of bankruptcy are obtaining a discharge of most, if not all of your debts, and vastly outweigh the relative costs involved. However, this does not mean you have to go bankrupt filing for bankruptcy. Do your research and find an attorney that you are comfortable with to help you. Hopefully, if you find yourself in need of a bankruptcy attorney you will consider the extensive experience and personal attention that Carpenter Law is well known for. We are ready, willing and able to assist you, and also, will consider creative financial arrangements to make sure going through bankruptcy doesn’t shatter your piggy bank!