Can I File For Bankruptcy For Free
Many consumers who are facing the possibility of filing personal bankruptcy are not only concerned with the personal costs to their credit, finances and assets, but also wonder about the monetary costs of filing. "Can I file for bankruptcy for free?" is a question that many individuals ask when considering this option. It is generally not a free filing with any court since there are forms, documents and other informational requirements that must be submitted even if an individual does all the legal work alone. Usually, a chapter 7 bankruptcy can be filed for under $200 and a chapter 13 bankruptcy filing can be secured for under $300.
That, of course, is not considering any attorney's fees, legal advice or professional financial advice that may be needed to receive the best court judgment possible in these types of cases. Asking, "Can I file for bankruptcy for free?" will generally receive an answer that free evaluations can be received through many legal offices, credit counseling agencies and other financial management groups. Many businesses and organizations offer free analysis of an individual's circumstances as well as free advice on how to proceed if filing personal bankruptcy. Oftentimes an evaluation and counseling is well worth the time that is spent in determining what option is best for anyone who is in a fiscal jam.
If a person wishes to pursue a cheap solution, he or she can choose the option of filing personal bankruptcy themselves. However, it is important to learn how the current laws in the particular state that it is filed will affect the individual. These laws are often complicated and affect consumers in different ways according to their financial, marital and parental status. What may have been a protective measure for some groups in the past, may not be available since the current legislation. For example, single mothers or non-custodial parents are severely affected by the recent laws with single mothers hit the hardest. Many single mothers wonder "Can I file for bankruptcy for free?" because they are not able to secure the services of legal counsel who may be able to decipher the current laws for them as well as file legal papers to begin the process. "I have been young and now am old, yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." (Psalm 37:25)
In any case, it can be cheaper if an individual files, providing he or she has adequate legal knowledge to receive the benefits of the laws. There are online forms that can be downloaded for personal use as well as online information that instructs how to file. Applications cannot currently be filed online, but must be filed through the proper court proceedings. Before making the decision to file for a chapter 7 or chapter 13, it is best to actually determine if there are any other alternatives. Some people may rush to judgment and circumvent solutions that may prove to be more advantageous. Many bankruptcies occur because of overwhelming circumstances due to illness, family upheaval or job loss. There may be other avenues that are available that can provide free help, counseling and debt solution alternatives before having to resort to filing personal bankruptcy from desperation.
There are many debt solutions such as consolidations, budget management education, and debt negotiations that are offered through many businesses and agencies. Free consultations are available through credit consumer agencies and Christian ministries that specialize in dealing with personal finances. Only after investigating other options are bankruptcies suggested as a cure for mammoth financial set backs in anyone's situation. At that point asking, "Can I file for bankruptcy for free?" is a reasonable exploration. Although anyone can file on their own, it is suggested by experts to secure some legal counsel in order to determine the best options available for any particular case. There are many things to consider such as earnings, debts, dependants, and holdings which can require a different strategy in each case. As already mentioned, there is the current change of laws that must also be carefully addressed in order to receive the greatest benefits from this action.
In the best case scenario, chapter 7 and chapter 13 offer a chance to have a fresh start financially after experiencing devastating setbacks in personal finances. They also provide protection from creditors by putting an automatic hold on all assets and debt collections which then allows the court to efficiently and thoroughly produce a legal and binding judgment that is fair to both parties. While this may be a breath of fresh air for many people who are smothered by financial strain, it also has it consequences of poor credit, higher interest rates and restrained spending in order to rebuild fiscal stability. While filing personal bankruptcy may be the best alternative for many people, it is generally wise to receive advice, counsel and legal management in these matters. Check out the many online sources available that offer information, forms and current trends in the law regarding bankruptcies.
Considering BankruptcyThousands of Americans today are considering bankruptcy, as their paychecks are spread too thin between pay periods or paychecks may not be coming in at all. There are many honest reasons that an individual or family may need to liquidate their assets and remove their debt legally. Jobs are lost, tragedy strikes, or any economic woe may bring about the inability to get debt paid off in a timely manner. Bankruptcy laws are in place to help victims of unexpected circumstances start their financial state of affairs over, by removing debt. For Americans that have truly had difficult circumstances, considering the various options may be critical to the stability of their families and financial future.
There are also those that have over-extended themselves and are now drowning in excessive debt, unable to make their minimum monthly payments. Because of the increase of filed bankruptcies in the U.S., new laws are making it harder for families to qualify for these legal proceedings. There are alternatives to legally negating debt, before considering bankruptcy. Consumer counseling agencies and debt help companies can walk consumers through a series of steps that will lead to debt pay off. Investigating the various options available will be time well spent, and consumers will have the satisfaction of knowing that they took care of their obligations.
However, when there is no possible way for consumers or businesses to practice financial responsibility, then knowing the different options available will help in choosing the right course to take. The types of bankruptcy that most individuals opt for include Chapters 7 and 13. Most Chapter 7 filings are filing with no assets, or with little that could be sold to pay off debt. Laws are determined by states, but most states allow some assets to be protected, such as home equities, cars, and household goods. If, however, some assets are kept, the petitioner must continue to make timely payments. Those who file for a Chapter 7 may only file every six years and discharges can take up to six months from the date of the original filing. Most of the financial legal proceedings filed in the U.S. by individuals are Chapter 7 types of bankruptcy.
With Chapter 13 types of bankruptcy, consumers have the option of adjusting finances. Chapter 13 filings can stop collections and foreclosures temporarily, giving the filer time to formulate a financial plan to pay off debt over a certain period of time. Restructuring home loans and lowering interest payments can be part of the plan involved with these types of bankruptcy filings, as consumers work at taking care of obligations. All repayment plans must be approved by legal court proceedings.
Other filing options include Chapter 9, which allows for the reorganization of debt overseen by municipalities and Chapter 11, which also allows for debt restructuring, but with total debt limits that are higher than a Chapter 13. Anyone or any business considering bankruptcy should contact an attorney to get more information on the different types of bankruptcy and discover what chapter filing may be best for individual situations.
Filing bankruptcy can have very negative results on a credit report. Credit reports are essential to operating in today's economy. To qualify for home loans, credit cards, some insurances, and in many cases, certain jobs, a credit report must show financial responsibility. Consumers will need to protect their credit histories by keeping debt paid in a timely manner. A bankruptcy can stay on a credit report for up to ten years, so anyone seriously considering bankruptcy will need to keep these facts in mind.
The Bible has much to say about finances and financial responsibility. While many Chapter filings are last resorts for those in crisis, it is important to try and keep debt at a manageable level, knowing that at anytime, financial situations may change. Christians must have financial integrity because God's Word is specific about the perils of debt troubles. "The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender." (Proverbs 22:7) Another verse that teaches the truth about money is 1 Timothy 6:10 which says, "The love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." This verse is teaching the reader that money is not evil, but the pursuit of money and material gain can lead to poor decisions, not only in the financial arena, but in a personal walk of faith as well.
There are sources online through the Internet that can offer further information about the legal proceedings of bankruptcy. Anyone considering bankruptcy should conduct a thorough research and make sure that they completely understand all judicial proceeding involved. Those researching their debt options should also have an understanding of what consequences could result from negating debt through legal means.