Many people wait too long before they file for bankruptcy. Unfortunately, the longer you wait, the more complex your case might be. Waiting till creditors take actions like lawsuits, foreclosures, and repossessions can only make it more difficult to get the financial relief you need. Filers sometime put off filing due to the cost of filing. There are several costs associated with a filing, but there are ways to deal with all of them. Read on to find out more.
It's very difficult to cope with a bankruptcy filing without professional legal help. There are just too many opportunities to make mistakes when filling out the forms. The forms, and there are many, must be signed and you are under oath to be accurate when filling them out. If you have property, you may need to decide between chapter 7 and chapter 13 before you file. If you have used your credit cards recently, have sold or given away property in the last few months, or you want to reaffirm a debt, you will need help with that. All those issues call for professional legal advice. Fortunately, most bankruptcy lawyers allow filers to pay the fees a little at a time until it's time to file. Flat fees are normally charged for a basic bankruptcy.
In addition to lawyer's fees, the federal filing fee costs $335 for chapter 7 and $310 for chapter 13. The courts allow filers to pay the fees in installments if they cannot pay the full cost. Also, some filers will qualify for indigent status. If your income meets the requirements, you can have the full fee waived. You must swear under oath that you cannot afford to pay the full filing fee when you apply.
A recent retooling of the codes added some required bankruptcy classes for filers. One has to be completed before you file, and one has to be completed before the bankruptcy is final. These classes are both offered by non-governmental third-party agencies, so the cost will vary from location to location. There are, however, caps on how much can be charged. The classes are approximately $60 per class. If you qualify for waived court fees, you might also qualify for indigent status with these two classes. You must fill out an application to have the fees reduced or waived.
Most bankruptcy attorneys will review your case and give you an idea of what to expect in financial outlay for your situation. Don't let financial constraints keep you from getting the relief you need.