Every bankruptcy attorney hears this sooner or later.
“I’m so broke that I can’t afford a lawyer to file bankruptcy!”
It’s the ultimate in catch-22. You need to file bankruptcy because you’re deep in debt and can’t find a way out, but it costs money to file for bankruptcy and you can’t hire a bankruptcy preparer much less afford an attorney. Even among firms that specialize in bankruptcy, it’s often a pay to play situation. However, here at Van Horn Law Group we do things differently. We want to help. So we started offering a zero down liquidation bankruptcy.
We get that a lot.
The question boils down to why would you trust a broke person to pay you back.
The answer is simple. A lot of people who are deeply in debt could actually afford a comfortable life if they were not in debt and that is what bankruptcy was designed to cure. Most people don’t have the intent to get into debt, and think that they’re never going to need to resort to bankruptcy, but life happens. Before the pandemic, way back in the recession that was at its deepest when this law firm was brand new, many people were on the verge of losing homes to foreclosure, jobs that had been secure evaporated, and bankruptcy filings boomed.
Now, over a decade later we find ourselves in pandemic recession, where all the gains of the past ten years stand to be wiped out. Once again, people need help with the debts that came along with an education, buying a home, launching a business, and Van Horn Law Group is here to help. Yes, we want to be paid, but more than being paid we want the people who come to us for their filing to sleep at night knowing that we are on their side and that we trust them.
If they didn’t have a pile of debt, they’d be okay, and with those debts subject to the automatic stay, they can afford the reasonable payments of the zero down bankruptcy.
It is, and it’s not one to be taken lightly. Bankruptcy, even a ‘simple’ Chapter 7 is actually a complex legal procedure. Many people try to DIY or using a bankruptcy preparer if they can’t afford a lawyer to file bankruptcy for them. This is risky for a few reasons.
So, yes, doing this when you can’t afford a lawyer to file bankruptcy is a big step, but we want to help our clients cut it down to size.
The first thing to know about bankruptcy is how the automatic stay protects you. The automatic stay goes into effect immediately. It prevents any collection action from any source. This includes-
It does not stop garnishments for child or spousal support, taxes, fines or restitution. Everything else, including utilities, credit cards, even rent or mortgage payments are stayed from collection while your filing is reviewed and a bankruptcy plan worked out.
Yes, a bankruptcy filing will show up on your credit report and it will have an impact. There is no way around it. However, many credit providers understand that someone who has successfully exited bankruptcy is a better credit risk without a burden of debt service. Instead of turning over your whole paycheck to minimum payments, that money is now in play. Additionally, with the restrictions on filing for bankruptcy, you’re locked in for a given period of years before you can file again.
However, there are also rules about filing for Chapter 13 after a Chapter 7, and vice versa. The court can deny a discharge if you are filing a Chapter 13 less than six years after filing for Chapter 7, or a Chapter 7 filing less than four years after a Chapter 13. Judges and the US Trustee do not like people who try to game the system and trust me, they know every trick in the book.
If you decide to use some of the tricks in said book, you may have a previously successful discharge revoked. Yes, your discharge can be revoked if the court decides that the discharge was obtained by fraud. This means that you have concealed assets or information, lied to your attorney or the court, altered or destroyed information, or are unable to explain deficiencies in your assets or property. It’s a bad idea to play chicken with the federal bench and your attorney will not be pleased.
How can you not afford one? Especially knowing all the ways that your filing could hurtle off the rails to crash and burn? Talk to Van Horn Law Group about a zero down bankruptcy with a free initial consultation. Gather your paperwork, square up your budget, and get ready to leave debt in the dust – and do it legally. We are here to help with decades of legal expertise, an experienced staff, and all the help you need to get through a tough time. Call us or get in touch with any of our offices in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, or Miami. We’ll listen to you, and help you make the best decisions for your future.
Make that call today! (954) 765-3166
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