Is there any way I can get help and file bankruptcy for free? 19 Answers as of April 03, 2013

I have not been working for some time now and would like to file bankruptcy to wipe out everything so I can start over.

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Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
I recommend contacting Legal Services of So Nevada.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/3/2013
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
If you are unemployed this might not be the best time to file bankruptcy. There are not often free services to prepare a bankruptcy. Look for a free consultation and ask about "bankruptcy preparers." These are secretarial services that prepare bankruptcy for about $150.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/3/2013
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
Save up some money and hire an attorney to get it done right.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 4/3/2013
Tokarska Law Center
Tokarska Law Center | Kathryn U. Tokarska
Check with local legal aid clinic to see if they offer the service, if not, there are two other options (1) go to the local bankruptcy court website and see what resources they have for self represented assistance (some courts provide fairly extensive guidance online on what needs to be done, what forms are needed etc) (2) you could hire a petition preparer, they typically charge less but be aware that in both options 1 and 2 you will not receive any legal advice. The local bankruptcy court website search is a must because different districts have different local rules. There is a general bankruptcy guide published by Nolo, How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy that you could probably find at the local public library, if not then law public library. That book as well will give you a long disclaimer. Having said all this, as an attorney who has practiced bankruptcy for some time now, none of these will measure up or replace legal representation. I do not recommend self representation. Even an attorney who practices a different area of the law will think twice and probably hire a bankruptcy lawyer. Who knows you may have some particular facts/circumstances that could make filing bankruptcy a mistake at this time or maybe ever. As a self represented individual you are still expected to understand bankruptcy rules and local court practices. Not knowing that you were supposed to do this or not do this is no excuse and won't prevent the consequences. Is bankruptcy at this time really necessary? Legal aid clinics offer assistance regarding family law and other serious legal issues that can very negatively impact lives of people who cannot afford legal representation but bankruptcy services don't necessarily fall into that urgent category. If someone is absolutely broke and owns little to no assets, that person is considered judgment proof so what is the worst thing that can happen to them? You can't get blood from a turnip. Just my two cents. Good luck to you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/3/2013
Law Office of Jeffrey Solomon
Law Office of Jeffrey Solomon | Jeffrey Solomon
You should contact your local legal aid. Also, as to the filing fee if you file on your own, there is a waiver of the filing fee if you meet certain requirements. You can contact your local bankruptcy clerk.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 4/2/2013
    Guardian Law Group PLLC
    Guardian Law Group PLLC | C. David Hester
    You can file pro se (represent yourself) but its not easy. You can find the forms at the federal courthouse website for your area.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 4/2/2013
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Check with Legal Services in your area. They do some bankruptcies for free if you meet their criteria.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/2/2013
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Some courts have a free clinic. Check the web site of the bankruptcy court that services your area.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/2/2013
    Gonzalez & Tybor PA | David Tybor
    You can file a pro se bankruptcy and motion the court to waive the filing fee.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/2/2013
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Legal aid is available to help indigent people that need to file bankruptcy in many communities and if you are below the poverty level, you may qualify to have the court filing fee waived. However, there is a big difference between wanting to file bankruptcy and needing to file bankruptcy. Most indigent folks may want to file bankruptcy but have no genuine need to file bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/2/2013
    Troutman & Napier
    Troutman & Napier | Gregory A. Napier
    First, you can find all the forms needed on the website for the bankruptcy court in your district. Second, you can file a motion to have the court's fees waived. Third, you may be judgment proof right now if you have no wages or bank balances and so you may want to wait until you are employed again for two reasons: 1) bankruptcy can be complicated and there are costly mistakes that can happen if you do not know the laws; 2) you may have to incur additional debts, such as medical bills, between now and when you regain income.
    Answer Applies to: Kentucky
    Replied: 4/2/2013
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    Check with your bankruptcy court and/or the local bar association to see whether they can refer you to any pro bono assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/2/2013
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    You can call legal aid in your county and see if they provide this service.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/2/2013
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    You can try legal aid, but if you have a lot of consumer debt, they will not assit you. There are many attorneys that are willing to accept payment plans to file.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/2/2013
    Law offices of John P. Brooke | John Brooke
    You may be able to find an attorney to file the case pro bono for you through your local bar association but there usually is a waiting list. The Suffolk County Bar Association has a program where they can set you up with an attorney pro bono if you live in Suffolk County. You could file pro se (on your own) but I wouldn't recommend going this route given the fact the paperwork is quite lengthy and you would need to have knowledge of the exemption laws so you don't lose any otherwise exempt assets. Your best bet would be to search for an attorney to offer competitive rates and that would be willing to offer you some sort of a payment plan. My office routinely offers lower rates to people in your situation with fees as low as $1,000 and payment plans.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/2/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    You can complete the required petition and schedules and when filing request a fee waiver.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/2/2013
    Moffa & Bonacquisti, P.A.
    Moffa & Bonacquisti, P.A. | John A. Moffa
    Call legal aid, but the filing fee for the Court will need to be paid.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/2/2013
    Connaghan Newberry Law Firm
    Connaghan Newberry Law Firm | Tara D. Newberry
    Contact the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada. They offer free classes about Bankruptcy and if you qualify can help you find a pro bono attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/2/2013
    Michelotti & Associates, Ltd. | Joseph Michelotti
    True chicken and egg problem. You can ask that the court waive your filing fees (currently $306.00), but generally that is not done. You can pay the filing fees in installments, so that would be easier. All of the forms you need are available on line, but bankruptcy is a very complicated area of law. If you do something wrong, it is very hard to reverse it.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 4/2/2013
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