Anyone considering filing for bankruptcy is usually concerned about the cost of undertaking the process. The concerns are understandable, given that most people consider filing for bankruptcy when they are experiencing financial difficulties. The most common concern is whether one can afford the filing fees, how much it costs to file with a bankruptcy attorney's assistance, and how much it costs to file alone.
Bankruptcy Filing Costs
You must first pay the filing fee before you can file for bankruptcy. You must also decide whether to file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. You should consult with a bankruptcy attorney to determine the most appropriate chapter for your situation. Usually, filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is costlier than a Chapter 13 decree. You may also be required to pay the bankruptcy trustee a service fee. If you cannot pay the entire amount at once, some courts may allow you to pay in installments if you demonstrate your inability to pay.
Applications Under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13
The law allows individuals to file under one chapter and later convert to another for whatever reason. Always consider hiring a bankruptcy attorney should you consider shifting from one chapter to the other. Conversions from Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 are typically done because the applicant does not meet Chapter 7's requirements. The applicant will not be charged any additional fees for this. However, to convert from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7, the applicant must top up the initial amount. The applicant usually converts from chapter 13 to chapter 7 because they cannot keep up with their payment plan.
Self-Representation in Bankruptcy Claims
When filing for bankruptcy, you can do so 'pro se' (on your own) or with the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney. However, self-representing applicants have a very low success rate. As a result, it is prudent to retain the services of a competent bankruptcy attorney who can assist with the technicalities. While most people are concerned that hiring a bankruptcy attorney will be expensive, it is critical to consider what they can offer you. A bankruptcy attorney will handle any administrative issues in your claim, including submitting court papers on time and with the correct information. Your lawyer will also assist you in applying for any local and federal bankruptcy exemptions that will allow you to keep as much of your property as possible. Consulting a bankruptcy attorney will assist you in receiving as much relief as possible.