Are you considering bankruptcy? If so, you may already know that the process is not typically free. This fact can be very distressing to people who are already dealing with overwhelming debt and the many problems that it causes.
The actual cost of bankruptcy can vary dramatically, but it is important to know those costs beforehand so you can avoid problems that might arise from them later.
As mentioned previously, the actual cost of filing for bankruptcy can vary dramatically. Just how dramatically? It can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. The variance comes down to a variety of factors, including but not limited to:
These are just some of the factors that can impact the cost of your bankruptcy. Where you live and many other elements can also come into play.
Why does bankruptcy cost so much? It seems a little counterintuitive, since people who are considering filing for bankruptcy are already struggling to pay for things. However, the cost of bankruptcy largely comes down to getting the help you need – and the experience you want from someone in that position.
Some of the costs associated with bankruptcy include:
These cost estimates do not include attorney’s fees, as these are where most of the variation can happen. Expect to pay several thousand dollars to work with an attorney in most cases, as these professionals will be with you from the beginning of the process through your discharge.
So, what happens if you cannot afford to pay these fees? Many people cannot, which is why so many end up making choices that might hurt them in the long run. If you cannot wait to file for bankruptcy – as most people in this scenario cannot – it is a smart idea to consider all of your options before committing to a lawyer.
Comparison Shopping for Legal Representation
The services of lawyers are not all the same. Neither are their fees. As such, it can actually be beneficial to do a little comparison shopping before you choose a legal professional to represent you during your bankruptcy.
There are several factors to consider. First, how much experience does your prospective lawyer have? Legal pros who are fresh out of law school or doing some kind of internship might be more willing to take a lower rate in exchange for their services than much more experienced attorneys.
Next, find out if someone you know is a lawyer or knows someone who is. Many times, these legal professionals are willing to take a reduced rate for family or friends.
Are there lawyers in your area who accept pro bono – or free of charge – cases? While no sensible attorney could do this all the time, some lawyers do have certain times of year during which they accept a limited number of pro bono cases. It might be worth your time to find out if and when these promotional periods are and take advantage of them.
Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to all of this. Less experienced lawyers may be ill-equipped to handle more complicated cases. Not everyone knows a lawyer who will offer them a discount. And finding space on a local lawyer’s monthly or annual pro bono list may be difficult or even impossible.
All of this begs the question: Should you just forgo the lawyer entirely? It might make sense at first glance. After all, if you do not have a bankruptcy attorney, you do not have to pay for a bankruptcy attorney. Simple as that, right?
Well, not exactly. The reason most people going through bankruptcy decide not to represent themselves is simple lack of knowledge and experience. Bankruptcy can be tricky, frustrating, and overwhelming, even in the best cases. Dealing with all of that alone is a frightening prospect!
Additionally, most people do not have the experience to make the kind of decisions necessary to make the bankruptcy process a smooth one. They may not know the best way to approach certain aspects of that process or the best way to argue certain points against much more legally powerful creditors. Without this knowledge and experience, getting the result you want during a bankruptcy is somewhere between difficult and impossible.
While it may seem like you do not have any options when it comes to bankruptcy other than going it alone or handing over money you don’t have, there is actually a solution. No, it isn’t working with an unqualified or underqualified legal professional or waiting months or years until you can find someone to represent you for free, either. If your budget is tight but you want great representation, talk to the team at Van Horn Law Group.
At the Van Horn Law Group, we offer a zero down bankruptcy option. This option allows consumers to begin the bankruptcy process for no initial cost. How can we do this? By working with you to ensure that we create a reasonable, manageable payment plan with your budget in mind.
If eligible, you pay nothing when beginning the zero down bankruptcy process. Instead, our fees are spread out over a twelve-month period, allowing you to afford the bankruptcy assistance you want and need.
You are already dealing with financial stress. Don’t let finding help with that stress cause more. Contact us today to learn more about the zero down bankruptcy and to start your journey toward a better, brighter financial future!
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