What to Do if You Can’t Afford Bankruptcy in New York

Some people do not file for bankruptcy because they feel they cannot afford to do so. After all, bankruptcy comes both with court fees and with legal fees. When they’re added all together those numbers can be very intimidating, especially for people who are already in a state of financial distress.

Yet if you do hire an attorney and choose Chapter 7, you have nearly an 100% chance of seeing your debts wiped out. If you hire an attorney and choose Chapter 13 you still have a very good chance of seeing your debts wiped out. Neither is true if you try to do it alone, or don’t do it at all.

Here are some strategies you can use to turn bankruptcy into a viable option.

Find an attorney who publishes their fees.

One of the hardest parts about filing for bankruptcy is facing the fear of the unknown. Having to guess how much you’ll pay an attorney makes it impossible to save any money or to make any plans. 

We publish our fees right here on our website so you know exactly what to expect. 

Find an attorney who accepts payment plans on both kinds of bankruptcy.

Some attorneys only accept payment plans on Chapter 13 bankruptcy, because their fees are so much higher. You want one who will accept one for both kinds of bankruptcy.

At our office, we do accept payment plans on both kinds of bankruptcy. We ask for a small deposit and then get to work. See our typical fees here.

Apply for a court payment plan.

If you have a steady income but are just dealing with financial hardship you can petition the court to be allowed to pay the filing fee in installments too. There is a down payment of $95 and then 3 payments of $80 if you are approved for this plan.

To qualify your income must be less than 150% of the official poverty guidelines. For a family of three that would be $32,940 a year.

Use tax refunds.

This is a strategy a lot of people use. Your tax refund can at least get the court fees covered, as well as the initial payment to the lawyer. 

Some tax refunds are even large enough to cover the entire bankruptcy. 

You may be tempted to use the refund for other purposes, but think how good it will feel to have financial freedom. To be able to use that refund, next year, on whatever you want in a no-stress environment.

Stop paying collection agencies. 

Many clients pay collection agencies far longer than they should. These payments don’t improve their situation. They won’t raise a credit score, they won’t improve your life situation. 

Once you file for bankruptcy these debts will likely be wiped out.

Collection agents are very skilled at shaming or guilt tripping people into making payments that will not benefit them. Stop making them. Divert that money towards filing. Unless they decide to launch a lawsuit there will be virtually no consequences for this, and if they do bankruptcy will put a stop to it anyway.

Need help?

One great thing about working with our office is the initial consultation is free. 

Contact us today to find out how you can get a fresh start and financial freedom.

See also:

What Do You Need to Bring to Your Bankruptcy Consultation?

5 Bankruptcy Myths, Busted

Why You Should File Your New York Bankruptcy Now


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