The number one question people ask me when I tell them that I am a bankruptcy attorney is, “How can people that need to file bankruptcy pay your fees?”
It is not only a good question, it’s an important one for anyone who is considering filing bankruptcy and is looking for an experienced lawyer to help them through the process.
First, a warning. I would strongly advise anyone against trying to file a bankruptcy proceeding without being represented by an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Even if you do not hire our firm, I implore you to seek counsel before proceeding into the murky waters of bankruptcy law. I recognize that you can buy the forms at your local office supply store, that you or your cousin can complete the forms, and that anyone can file those forms with the court. What I also recognize is that there is the vast potential to do things incorrectly, which could lead to your case being denied, or worse. Failure to disclose an asset to the bankruptcy court, even innocent failures, can lead to years in jail. Failure to protect an asset, such as your home or your car, could result in the loss of that asset. Too much income can cause problems, and sometimes too little income can as well.
So, that brings me back to my original question. Paying for counsel, while vital, may seem daunting. Many people are struggling to pay their credit card debt and are making only the minimum payment each month. Once they retain me to represent them, they can stop making those payments. Often that frees up enough money to pay the fee over a couple of months. Payment plans, including some that can be instituted after a case is filed, are another way that consumers can cover the cost of experienced bankruptcy counsel. Finally, the help of a loved one can be a good way to help ease the stranglehold of crippling debt. You would be surprised at how many people are able to enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member to allow them to escape the debt that is dragging them down. Once that debt is gone, paying back those people who stood by you in your time of need is easier.