Declaring bankruptcy costs money. Though you can do it on your own for a few hundred dollars (the filing fee), hiring bankruptcy lawyer services is preferable. A bankruptcy lawyer will make sure you file everything correctly and that you're legally protected on all fronts. Still, if you're declaring bankruptcy, you may be wondering how you can find the money to do so.
Going on a Payment Plan
Many bankruptcy attorneys understand that you're going through a difficult financial time. Naturally, that also means they will want to be paid something ahead of time. Bankruptcy costs can't be folded into the bankruptcy itself, but many bankruptcy attorneys will accept a deposit (for the filing fees) and then a payment plan throughout the process.
Understandably, you need to be able to pay your bankruptcy attorney for the bankruptcy before it is complete. Bankruptcy can be a lengthy process during which your finances are examined, your assets are dissolved, and your debts are paid off. During this time, your lawyer may still have to do some additional work for you.
Ceasing Payment On Your Debts
During the process of bankruptcy, you will generally stop paying off your debts. Collection actions cannot be taken against you during the process of bankruptcy, and it's expected that you'll stop paying creditors while the bankruptcy is completed. This money can be used to pay for legal services.
Working With Free Clinics
There are free clinics available that can help you through the process of bankruptcy, but you should be aware that their time is often limited. They may not be able to give you the support that you need.
If you have assets that are likely to be liquidated during the process of bankruptcy (such as a second or third vehicle), it may be in your best interest to liquidate it now in order to pay for your bankruptcy lawyer. It will be liquidated one way or another, and a lawyer is a valid expense that won't be questioned during the proceedings.
One way or another, getting a bankruptcy lawyer is usually going to save you money long-term. Though you can declare bankruptcy on your own, the process is complex. Further, it's likely to take you longer to declare bankruptcy on your own as you aren't familiar with the process. Using a bankruptcy lawyer is a way to fast-track your bankruptcy and get started on recovery much faster.