You experienced financial hardship, and the last thing you can do is come up with thousands of dollars to hire an expensive bankruptcy attorney.
You may not have to.
The purpose of this article is to be a step-by-step guide to finding an affordable bankruptcy lawyer. If you’d like to estimate the cost of the bankruptcy attorney, you can use the attorney fee estimate calculator below.
The first step in the bankruptcy filing process is to get a free bankruptcy consultation. This is the first step to getting to know the bankruptcy attorney. The free bankruptcy consultation is really an interview between you and the lawyer. You get to see whether you’d like to hire them, and they get to see if they want to represent you.
Generally, near the end of the bankruptcy consultation, the bankruptcy attorney will tell you the price of filing bankruptcy.
You need to:
Now that you understand the hiring process, let’s cover how you can find the cheapest ways to file bankruptcy.
You can check with a bankruptcy attorney to understand whether they would provide certain aspects of your bankruptcy filing. For example, you may want to fill out the bankruptcy forms and attend the 341 meeting by yourself but would like a bankruptcy lawyer to review your forms and prepare you for the 341 meeting of creditors.
This can reduce the fees because you are not requiring the bankruptcy lawyer to do much of the paperwork. If you’d like to see whether a bankruptcy attorney offers ala carte services, please contact us to check with our bankruptcy attorney network or reach out to a bankruptcy lawyer directly.
Because initial consultations with many bankruptcy attorneys are free, you can have multiple free bankruptcy consultations to get the estimated cost.
If you don’t like being on the phone all day, you can also ask that question via the contact us on the bankruptcy attorney’s website. Please note that Chapter 7 bankruptcy costs may vary based on the complexity of your case, so you should consider letting them know if you have assets such as a house and if you have any pending lawsuits or garnishments. You can take this free bankruptcy calculator and download the data to send to them if you’d like or we can send it to them for you.
We can look up the cheapest bankruptcy attorneys in your area using software so that you don’t have to have multiple free bankruptcy consultations. We have to charge $9.99 for this option because we incur time costs and lookup costs, but we are happy to do this for you.
Call us at 833-272-3631 and let us know information about your city or use our contact us form. We can generally get you a result in as little as an hour during business hours. See the example below.
Many bankruptcy attorneys take payments. Let’s say you find a bankruptcy attorney that you like that is slightly more expensive than one you did not like. You can ask that bankruptcy attorney whether they take payments. Generally, many bankruptcy attorneys take payments as little as $100 per month before filing your case.
If you have a Metlife (formerly Hyatt legal) plan, you can also ask whether the bankruptcy attorney takes that plan. This can make bankruptcy filing drastically more affordable.
Using our database of knowledge, we built the following “Find an Affordable Bankruptcy Attorney” tool to help you distinguish an affordable bankruptcy attorney that serves your county.
To use the tool, you just have to add your zip code below.
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Fill out your information for the local attorney. Please note that the attorney selected may not be the one which contacts you.
There are a few other ways that you can file a cheap bankruptcy with or without a bankruptcy lawyer.
You are not required to have a bankruptcy attorney file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Some individuals decide to file without an attorney. There are also guides if you choose to file this way.
We provide an overview of the Chapter 7 process and a Chapter 7 calculator on our website. You can also find information about filing without an attorney from the United States Courts. Local bankruptcy courts often have information on their website about filing bankruptcy without an attorney. You can search online or call the local bankruptcy Clerk of the Court’s Office.
Nolo has a guide to filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy you can purchase online. It is not considered legal advice, but it is advertised as a step-by-step guide for filing Chapter 7. However, bankruptcy rules and bankruptcy laws change. The official bankruptcy forms and the information used to calculate the Means Test also change periodically. It is important that you ensure you are using the most up-to-date information available if you decide to file Chapter 7 without an attorney.
If you decide to file bankruptcy without an attorney, you need to be cautious. When you file under Chapter 7, you may not be able to dismiss your case voluntarily. If the Chapter 7 trustee determines that your property may be sold to repay your debts, you might not be able to stop the process.
You may want to consider filing Chapter 13. Most bankruptcy attorneys include a majority of their attorneys’ fees in the Chapter 13 plan. You may also want to explore bankruptcy alternatives for debt relief.
Depending on your income level, you might qualify for a waiver of the Chapter 7 filing fee. In the alternative, you might qualify to pay the Chapter 7 filing fee in installments. To do this, you must file an application to waive a bankruptcy filing fee (Bankruptcy Official Form B 3A) with your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.
You may also qualify for a waiver of the fees for both bankruptcy courses. You must work directly with the company providing your Credit Counseling Course and Debtor Education Course to determine if you qualify to waive these bankruptcy costs.
The legal aid option for the affordable bankruptcy filing is near the bottom because so few people may qualify for this option. The reason for this is potentially that free or low-cost legal help may be only available for those that truly have no income, potentially not even SSN or disability income.
You can also lookup the pro bono bankruptcy program through your state’s bar association, but I generally caveat that we have heard more frustration over the years than affordable bankruptcy cases filed.