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How Can I File Bankruptcy When I Can’t Afford It? – Cheryl

“Dear Lewis,

Tapped out by a conman. More than 18,000 in credit card debts. No money left. Legal aide offices in my state have closed due to budget cuts. Need to file chapter 7. I have my session for credit counseling, and may be possible to get the court filing fees waived. Would like to find a low cost attorney in my area to help me get this filed and over with. Cannot handle the stress.

Where can I find a low cost attorney, so as not to make big mistakes, and be sued at a later date??

Cheryl”

Dear Cheryl,

I have answered some posts recently about filing the petition without an attorney. I suggest you find an attorney willing to work with you to protect any potential assets. Depending on the area, there can be a wide range of fees charged by attorneys for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. The best thing you can do is simply call a number of them. Make sure when the quote fees that you are comparing apples to apples. Meaning some attorney quote a flat rate that covers everything (filing fee, credit counseling course, debtor education course, and credit report). Others only quote the attorney fee, and you pay the rest, so that it seems like a low fee.

Please be aware, that in some districts, if you are able to pay your attorney even a small fee, the Court might not waive the filing fee. It is not bad reasoning that if one can pay even small amounts to an attorney, they should pay the filing fee – that a waiver of the filing fee is for the person truly in need.

Also please be aware in the case of “con men”, some trustees, or even the US trustee, will want to confirm that you were truly conned. Did you file a police report? Did you notify the credit card companies if someone used your cards without authorization? (I don’t want to pry too much as to what happened.)

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Just be aware that people in the past have claimed they were conned, when it was in fact a con by the person claiming it.

I am not at all suggesting that is the case for you. Just want you to be aware of the small chance that someone will question your claim.

Good luck,

My name is Lewis Roberts and I’m an attorney licensed in Florida and Georgia. My practice focus is consumer bankruptcy, real estate issues/closings, and mortgages. I also have Florida real estate broker and mortgage broker licenses. I am a proud member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), National Association of Consumer Attorneys (NACA), and a graduate of Max Gardner’s Bankruptcy Boot Camp. I enjoy helping people with decisions that impact their financial well-being.

Legal Disclaimer: This is for educational purposes only. It is not to be relied upon as legal advice. It also does not create an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship is formed with attorney without a written agreement.

If you have a bankruptcy question you’d like to ask just use the online form.




About the author

Lewis Roberts

Florida Consumer Protection Attorney

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