How do I file bankruptcy when I have no money for an attorney? - Bankruptcy Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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How do I file bankruptcy when I have no money for an attorney?

I need to file bankruptcy as I am out of work, no income due to illness and I can not afford a lawyer and I already have lawsuits suing me that have already gone through the courts. I can not afford a lawyer so what can I do? I desperately need help.

Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
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Check out local legal aid clinics for pro bono services.

Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/19/2012

Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
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It is problematic to file bankruptcy when you have no money for an attorney or for court filing fees. If you are out of work you should wait until you return to work. Lawsuits reduced to judgments can be discharged in bankruptcy. When you aren't working there is no possibility of wage garnishment. This means you are noncollectable or what is called "judgment proof." If you become employed but still can't afford an attorney you might want to consider filing on your own. There are self-help books, such as the ones published by Nolo Press of Berkeley, California. You might be able to get a free consultation to review papers that you have prepared on your own. Sometimes there are pro bono clinics who can help you for free. Also, most bar associations have a referral service where you can get a low cost consultation.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/30/2011

Answer By Eric Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
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Most people save up money to pay the bankruptcy attorney and fees. If you are having trouble saving money to do this and can't wait it out because of lawsuits/garnishments, you should consider Chapter 13. Many attorneys will prepare and file a Chapter 13 petition and plan for no money down on attorney fees for qualified people and situations. The court charges $281 just to file the case in Chapter 13 and this cost is unavoidable to be able to file and get protection from the bankruptcy court.

Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 11/30/2011

Answer By Janet Lawson
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
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Unfortunately lawyers have to pay the overhead to keep the office open.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/30/2011

Charles R. Nettles - Attorney at Law
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Some cities have legal assistance programs for the poor. You always have the option of trying to do it yourself and the Court does offer a program to pay the filing fee in installments. There is also a program that allows for waiver of the filing fee completely upon application to the Court and a showing of an inability to afford the fee.

Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 11/30/2011

Answer By Darren Aronow
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
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Go on the website for your local federal court district and find "pro se" filing. This is when you represent your self. There are also companies that will help you prepare a bankruptcy petition that are relatively inexpensive.

Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/30/2011

Answer By Frances Ruiz
Ruiz Law Group, P.C.
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The bankruptcy court has a self help office in the Court itself. They could guide you to filing the bankruptcy by yourself.

Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/30/2011

Mazyar Hedayat and Associates
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Not every debtor that files for bankruptcy has no money at all. For most, their expenses and/or liabilities just exceed income and/or expenses. Even if a debtor has no income from work they often have social security or unemployment compensation on which to rely, and can take measures to save money in the short run like living temporarily with family. Finally, monthly expenses can be pushed back for a short period (less than 30 days) until filing. Between these "hidden" sources of income and savings, anybody should be able to retain a bankruptcy attorney. If all else fails, non-attorney petition preparation services are available as well. But be warned: such services are no substitute for attorney representation and can leave you worse off than you started. I recommend finding qualified bankruptcy counsel in your area.

Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 11/30/2011

Burnham & Associates
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You should contact the New Hampshire Bar Association's Pro Bono Program. If you qualify, they will be able to put you in touch with an attorney that will represent you without charging your legal fees.

Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 11/29/2011

Ashman Law Office
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Given how badly pro se cases go, you will do better saving until you can afford counsel than you will do filing without counsel.

Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 11/29/2011

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