Bankruptcy is a great option for people who are burdened by debts that they cannot pay. However, filing for bankruptcy is not cheap either. The average cost for filing bankruptcy hovers at $1,500, which is out of reach for many people who are already struggling financially. Laws that forbid you to charge bankruptcy fees on a credit card and/or sell off assets to pay for your bankruptcy make it even more difficult to come up with the money. If you need to file bankruptcy but can't come up with the money to do so, there are a few clever ways to raise the money you need to file.
File for Fee Waiver
Court costs account for a little over $300 of the entire cost to file bankruptcy. If you're filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be able to have these fees waived if your income is less than 150 percent of the official poverty line. To do so, you must file a fee waiver application. If you don't qualify for a fee waiver, you may be able to ask the court to allow you to pay the costs in installments.
Find Free Help
Although they are difficult to find, some lawyers will help you file bankruptcy for free or at a reduced rate if you meet certain qualifications. To find lawyers in your area who offer free or reduced services, consult the American Bankruptcy Institute's Pro Bono Locator. You may also wish to look for attorneys in your area that will allow you to make payments up to the filing date of your bankruptcy. This option works like a layaway plan. Once all payments are made, your lawyer will proceed with your case.
Start a Fundraiser
If you have family or friends that will gift you with some funds with which you can file for bankruptcy, don't be afraid to ask for help. While you cannot take out a loan or borrow money before your bankruptcy, you can accept gifts. You may also be able to sell certain items to raise cash. However, there are some items that you can't sell before your bankruptcy because they may be sold during your bankruptcy to cover some of your debts. Before selling anything, be sure to talk to a lawyer, such as Gruber & Associates, PC.
As you can see, there are several ways you can reduce the cost for filing bankruptcy. If you need to file, but can't come up with the money, look for clever ways to pay your bankruptcy fees.
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