Established in federal law, bankruptcy is a proven method for getting out of debt, but those in financial hardship are often uncertain about the costs involved. While you can technically file bankruptcy by yourself, experience matters tremendously and can mean the difference between keeping or losing property, having to re-file your case or even going to jail. Creditors are adept at using the legal system and will count on individuals to be overwhelmed or unknowledgeable about court proceedings that attorneys have spent years learning.
Weigh Your Options
With court fees, mandatory counseling courses, credit reports and attorney fees, bankruptcies tend to range between $1500 to $2,000 (varies by state & service), with additional fees being paid through Chapter 13 payment plans. Without a doubt, a $2,000 bill can seem overwhelming to someone struggling with debt. But while it may seem expensive to file for bankruptcy, it’s almost certainly more expensive to keep struggling with sky-high interest rates, late payments, overdraft fees, out of control payments, collection attempts, lawsuits, repossessions and even foreclosure. Filing for bankruptcy is an investment in your financial future.
You know the old saying: You get what you pay for. Discount attorneys or paralegals that offer to file your bankruptcy for a low price often offer even lower service by cutting corners and saving time. Think about this: If you’re going in for a life-threatening surgery, are you going to find a budget surgeon? Doubtful! Bankruptcy is a vital legal procedure that can impact your financial future for years to come, and mistakes can be devastating.
Watch out for attorneys that offer a low price and a quick case: their incentive to make money fast could result in a mismanaged bankruptcy and even worse, a long term financial disaster for you.
Customized vs. Cookie Cutter
It can be tempting to call up every attorney in the phone book to haggle about price. But consider this: anyone who offers you a fixed quote over the phone is most likely not giving your financial situation the proper review it deserves. What specific service are they even offering? Jumping to conclusions can be extremely costly. Like with other important process, there’s an order to things - you don’t build a home before you check the foundation, and the same is true with bankruptcy.
At Lincoln Law we passionately believe that bankruptcy is not a one-size-fits-all package, and that our clients deserve customized solutions that keep their best interests in mind. We try to fully understand your situation and goals before providing your options (including the pros and cons), after which we can explain and justify our recommendation - only then can you make an informed decision.
Coming Up With Money
If you’re thinking there’s just no way you’ll come up with the money to file bankruptcy, here are some ideas:
- Use your tax refund
- Ask friends or family to lend a hand
- Sell off some things you can do without
- Take a temporary job or more hours to boost your income
- Cut down on rent by getting a roommate or moving in with someone else
- Speak with a bankruptcy attorney to see if you can stop paying certain bills
- Ask prospective bankruptcy attorneys if they offer affordable payment plans
It may be necessary to make some sacrifices in the beginning, but it can really pay itself off when the benefits of filing bankruptcy are realized (which start to take effect as soon as your case is filed).
About Lincoln Law
Many attorneys and paralegals are not able to provide the specialized service to match Lincoln Law’s arsenal of bankruptcy related services. We can save you money with vehicle redemption, lien stripping and avoidance, or defending you against adversary proceedings (for example, when a creditor falsely accuses you of fraud). There could also be opportunities we can take advantage of, such as violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) or tax evaluation and asset protection services which could put (or protect) money back into your pocket during or after your case is filed.
The lack of understanding and the ability to take action on these situations can endanger or limit a bankruptcy filing. It takes an experienced bankruptcy law firm to fully realize and capitalize on the options available through the Bankruptcy Code and related laws. Make an investment in your immediate future - call Lincoln Law at 800-404-0018 for your free consultation today.