Can I file chapter 7 if I'm being sued by a collection agency for credit card debt? 28 Answers as of June 11, 2013

Can I file chapter 7 if I'm being sued (I received the summons) by a collection agency for credit card debt? If so, approximately how much does it cost to file chapter 7? Do I have to file soon because the lawsuit was just filed 3/22/11. Thank you.

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Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
Yes, you can, assuming that you pass the means test and qualify to file a Chapter 7. Here is information from my website regarding my fees for Chapter 7 bankruptcies: "I handle all Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases on a flat fee basis. My fees for a Chapter 7 range from a minimum of $1,500.00 to a maximum of $5,000.00, depending on the complexity of the case. My median fee for a Chapter 7 is $2,000.00. My flat fee covers many things that paralegals cannot do, and other bankruptcy attorneys charge extra for. Half of the fee is due when you hire me, half is due immediately before filing of the bankruptcy petition. All costs are included except the Bankruptcy Court filling fee, which is $299.00 for a Chapter 7."
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/17/2011
Benson Law Firm
Benson Law Firm | David Benson
You may want to file as soon as possible to avoid a judgment lien. As to cost, attorneys are generally permitted to charge whatever they want, as long as the fee is reasonable under the circumstances and not prohibited by law or court rule.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 4/8/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
If you are in WA, you have 20 days from the date of service to respond to the lawsuit. My firm practices consumer rights and can defend you in this lawsuit, or advice you as to whether BK is your best option. Feel free to contact us, we offer free consultations.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/7/2011
Financial Relief Law Center
Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
Absolutely- Chapter 7 bankruptcy will bring an immediate stop to lawsuits for credit card debt, as well as any other unsecured debts. It will also wipe out those debts so that you do not have to repay them. You probably have some time until the creditor tries to do anything with the lawsuit and you consult an attorney to get the process moving. The fees will vary depending on your situation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/5/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Yes, being sued is a very good reason to file bankruptcy. Legal fees vary all over the place. As a starting point, I charge around $900.00 plus the filing fee for a simple case. All my office handles is bankruptcy cases so we can do it efficiently. Some cases of course cost more, so it depends on the complexity of case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/1/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Yes you can, and likely should. Fees would depend on various factors such as simplicity of case, etc. My consultation is free.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Gus Johnson Attorney at Law
    Gus Johnson Attorney at Law | Gus Johnson
    Yes you can, but the fees vary.
    Answer Applies to: South Dakota
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law | Robert G. Uriarte
    Yes. Fees vary depending on the complexity of the case you can expect a legal fee ranging from 1,000.00 to $3,000.00. the court fee is separate and is 299.00. You will also need to take a credit counseling course and financial management course which will run about 50.00-75.00 for both courses. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    Yes, bankruptcy provides relief from collection lawsuits such as this. The costs associated with bankruptcy are the court's filing fee (Chapter 7 is $299), the pre-filing and post-filing credit counseling courses and the attorney fees - if you hire an attorney - which will vary widely depending on the nature of your case and the market prices of your area.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    The Doan Law Firm
    The Doan Law Firm | Shawn Doan
    Yes, you can, and it will stop the lawsuit immediately.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Steven D. Keist, Attorney at Law
    Steven D. Keist, Attorney at Law | Steven D. Keist
    Yes you can file bankruptcy after you have been served a lawsuit. Attorney's fees vary. You will need to contact a lawyer of your choosing for this information.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC | Christine Wilton
    Yes. In fact, filing bankruptcy will stop the law suit.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    Yes, you may include credit card debt in bankruptcy. Almost all bankruptcies include credit card debt. The fact that you have a pending lawsuit is irrelevant. The average cost of a chapter 7 bankruptcy in Longmont, Colorado is $1500. Make sure you speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney prior to the time the creditor can take judgment. Once a creditor obtains judgment, it can garnish wages and bank accounts and place a judgment lien on your real estate. Don't give the creditor that power.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    You may file Bankruptcy if you are being sued. To stop the lawsuit you should file soon. Depending on your situation your Bankruptcy could cost between $1500 and $2500, but this will depend on the rates in the area that you live and what type of bankruptcy you are going to file.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    DiManna Law Office, LLC.
    DiManna Law Office, LLC. | Dawn DiManna
    Yes, you can file to get rid of this debt. Timing of filing depends on many other factors other than when the lawsuit was filed. The cost depends, you can contact attorneys and find that out directly. The court's filing fee is $299 and then the attorney's fees would be in addition to this amount.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 3/31/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    You can file bankruptcy any time you want, assuming you are eligible. The credit card debt will likely be dischargeable as long as it wasn't incurred by fraud. The costs vary depending on where you live, what attorney you use, and the complexity of your case. Most attorneys will give free initial consultations. I recommend you avail yourself of that option.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/31/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    Yes, assuming you otherwise qualify income-wise, are eligible and do not have too much property that you may not exempt (keep). The cost depends on your situation but it will range for a non-business case from $1,000 to $2,000 for the attorney's fee for a Chapter 7 case plus the cost of the court filing fee ($299) and other minor expenses for a credit report and two courses you must take, one before filing that will cost approximstely $25 online and a course after you file that will cost $15 to $25. You should file before you are required to answer the complaint (30 days after service of the summons) by the collection agency to avoid a judgment being entered against you that can result in garnishment of your wages, levy of your bank account and a lien on any real property you might own plus another negative entry in your credit history. Make sure you obtain the services of a local bankruptcy attorney you personally like and has several years of experience with such cases. Don't choose the cheapest lawyer just because he or she charges the least. Legal representation is like any other professional service that must be selected based on the best quality you can afford. You will get what you pay for and will always regret paying for a cheap lawyer, doctor, dentist, accountant, etc. Most lawyers will not touch cases gone wrong so you better plan on staying with the lawyer you choose to the end of the case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Law Office of Eric Ridley
    Law Office of Eric Ridley | Eric Ridley
    Yes. You can file Ch 7 and stop the proceeding. Additionally, you may be able to remove the debt. Filing fees for a Ch 7 are $299, in addition to attorney fees, and a minimal amount (less than $50) for mandatory credit counseling.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Yes. Credit card debts are the main thing that people bankrupt. You can file now or after they get a judgment, it does not matter. Average cost chapter 7 around $1,500.00. Includes fees and court costs.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    You want to be careful about bankruptcy, it is a very serious decision to file a bankruptcy. I would want to talk to you in detail about your debts, your income, and what you own. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the telephone call and no charge for the first office visit.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    If it is a straightforward collection lawsuit (that is, there is no fraud or misrepresentation claims involved), there should not be much of a problem to file to discharge your debt. The petition should be filed before the lawsuit reaches the judgment phase that is, in about 30 days from 3/22/11 to be conservative.

    The amount of fees and costs for Chapter 7 varies. For most flesh-and-blood persons, the fees will range from $799 to only prepare the petition to $2,500 or more for a full service engagement, with most attorneys falling somewhere in the middle of that range. Do not skimp on this as it can cost you dearly. You will find that, as in real life, you get what you pay for. The variation between attorneys will be in the hundreds of dollars (from $100 to $500) to file a new petition, but if you hire the wrong attorney and he or she botches your case, you may end up paying tens of thousands of dollars.

    Bankruptcy cases can be simple, but only if done right. You should research your attorney and make sure that he actually has education and training in bankruptcy law and has handled hundreds, not just a few cases, and do not think that the number of years in practice is relevant if the attorney has only handled a couple of cases. Don't let the attorneys "practice" with your case. Personally, I chose the bankruptcy field and took and continue to take as well as teach classes on the nuances of this area and handle both large Chapter 11 cases and straightforward chapter 7 matters.

    Unlike many attorneys whom I consider my peers, I do not charge for an initial consultation and do not try to sell you on my services. I analyze your situation thoroughly and tell you the pros and cons, if any, and do not pressure you to sign with me on the spot. Gratefully, virtually all the potential clients who have an initial consultation with me come back to hire us sooner or later and refer their friends and family to us. Call us and we will be glad to schedule an appointment for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Law Office of David P. Farrell
    Law Office of David P. Farrell | David Farrell
    Yes, stopping lawsuits and collections is one of many reasons people file for chapter 7. Upon the filing of the petition an automatic stay is triggered, which, with few exceptions, stops all actions and proceeding against the debtor and the debtor's property, including lawsuits. After your case is filed, your creditors will need permission from the bankruptcy court if it wishes to continue collection efforts against you. The going rate for chapter 7 in my area is $1,500-$2,000. You should speak to an attorney immediately. Feel free to call my office anytime.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    The Carmichael Firm
    The Carmichael Firm | Booker Carmichael
    Yes a bankruptcy would stop the lawsuit and potentially allow you to receive a discharge from the debt. Call me to discuss your options.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
    Yes you can. That's a typical reason for filing bankruptcy. A lot smarter than waiting to get garnished. How soon? Your credit will recover faster if you file the bankruptcy before the judgment is entered against you. You said it was filed on 3/22when is the court date? Do they know where you work? Do they know where you bank? If no, you are probably safe from garnishment for a while after the court date. You don't have to file soon, but it might be smart.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Law Offices of Michael T. Krueger
    Law Offices of Michael T. Krueger | Michael Krueger
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Law Office of Asaph Abrams
    Law Office of Asaph Abrams | Asaph Abrams
    Absolument! That's what bankruptcy is for. Well, it's March 30, so there is time to do it, but time IS of the essence; consult with a local attorney anon; she can advise you of a specific timeframe for getting the filing done. Fees vary widely. Seek counsel who may accommodate a sliding-scale fee structure.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Whether or not you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is based upon your income (and that of your family if you have a spouse and/or dependents). The court charges $299 for a filing fee. If you are in my area and are looking for a bankruptcy attorney, please contact me for a free consultation to determine if you qualify to file.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/30/2011
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