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attorney fees, bankruptcy, bankruptcy attorney

I Can't Afford to File for Bankruptcy!

On Behalf of Veitengruber Law | Dec 21,2021

Paying to file for bankruptcy can seem like a cruel joke. You don’t have the money to pay your bills, but now you are expected to pay a filing fee as well as legal expenses? Many people face these issues when filing for bankruptcy so you are not alone. Fortunately, there are ways to file for bankruptcy even if you have no money in the bank.

In New Jersey, the filing fee for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition is $313.00 and the filing fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $338.00. Typically, if you do not have the money to pay for these fees up front, the court will work with you. Under Chapter 13 you may be able to pay these fees in four installments or roll the payments into your repayment plan. If you are filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can pay in installments or apply to have the fee waived completely.

Hiring an attorney can seem like a huge expense, but it is one expense you should really think about carefully before deciding to file alone. It's not illegal to file without an attorney. It can, however, prove to be extremely difficult for you to file for bankruptcy on your own. There is a huge potential for mistakes within bankruptcy paperwork. Which type of bankruptcy is best for you? Do you know your state’s exemptions? What paperwork must be filed - and when? There are also various meetings that you must attend wherein there will be a lot of "legalese" that can be very confusing.

An experienced bankruptcy attorney knows the ins and outs of bankruptcy law. They are used to the administrative aspects of filing; they'll also be familiar with all of the legal language and deadlines. The faster you are able to petition the court for bankruptcy, the less time for your debts to pile up even higher. Working with an attorney also improves your chances of a more favorable outcome, like potentially being awarded a full discharge of debts. Hiring an attorney can actually mean you will save money in the end.

Bankruptcy can also be a time-consuming process. If you are representing yourself, you will need to be present at every meeting, court appearance, and personally file all of the paperwork. This can be difficult to balance on top of a family, a job, and other responsibilities. Missing work to attend to your bankruptcy case can exacerbate an already difficult financial situation. Your attorney will be able to attend meetings and court appearances on your behalf (in many instances).

Filing for bankruptcy isn't something to be done on a whim - or on your own. While the idea of paying court costs and attorney fees can be daunting when you are already struggling financially, there are ways to move forward even with no money in your bank account. Call to set up a free phone consultation with Veitengruber Law and we will help you get on a better financial track.


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