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Anyone done a BK on their own, no attorney?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm about 95% sure I need to file a Ch. 7 BK. I hadn't even considered it until a few days ago, as I don't own crazy amounts; but after a LOT of research and number crunching, it seems the only way to survive. One of the ironic things about BK is that it costs about 1200 minimum to file if you use an attorney (that includes the 300 filing fee). I make just over the amount to be eligible to have the filing fee waived, of course! I don't even have 300, let alone 1200. I'm great with red tape and legalese and did my own paperwork in family and civil court. But I don't know anyone who has done a BK on their own. On the credit forums, it seems everyone uses a laywer. So has anyone here done it?

 

I am going to meet with a few BK lawyers for the free consult, and I am going to ask if there is an alternative to "full service", like maybe I can do all the paperwork and the filing and they can just review it and make recommendations. Dunno. Advice? Thanks!!!

post #2 of 6
I think one of the reasons most people use a lawyer is because you need to make absolutely certain that all your debts are being discharged. From what I understand, if the bankruptcy is done incorrectly, then your credit card company or mortgage company etc. might actually come after you for the money you owe them, even many years down the line.

I have a friend who filed for chapter 7 (with the help of an attorney) and then got thrown into chapter 13 instead, and a year or two later things still haven't been wrapped up & finalized. I don't know if his experience was unusual but I can't imagine him going through that long & tedious process without the lawyer, because there are just so many loopholes and complex legislation around it, it seems it would be incredibly difficult to navigate on your own.
post #3 of 6

That is what I heard as well (making sure *everything* is exactly right, otherwise you might end up not discharging all of your debt).  It feels dishonest, but can you simply stop paying some bills (credit card?) and save up the $1200 in cash?

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

I am requesting a hardship withdrawal from my retirement account to pay the filing fees and hopefully an attorney (I can only take out 1500). My case is fairly simple since I don't own a house and I want to give up my car, though I need to hold onto it for another month to save for a "beater" car. I don't have any credit cards to not pay, that's the problem! I don't have any active credit card debt, the issues are old debt from when I was married to my ex; recently the creditors have come after me and my wages are garnished, and it's clear that they will keep coming, so I need to get all that discharged. Aside from my car payment, I don't have any real debt (well, student loans but those are in a IBR which is at 0 right now), but can't afford the car payment and with the garnishment, can't afford to pay rent and eat, hence a BK being my only way out. 

 

I need to file before they repo my car, to buy some time to get a new one. 

post #5 of 6

Meet with the lawyer, mine let me make payments. I think he needed half to get it started and he put an 'automatic stay' on all my bills. About 3m later I paid the rest & was able to finish up the BK. It was a fairly easy process, just make sure that's the best option for your situation. Best of luck!!

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

I have found lawyers who will take payments but none that will file before it is paid in full, so not helpful in my specific situation. Had I figured out that I was going to do this sooner, it would have been great, though! My request for the hardship withdrawal was finally delivered yesterday according to the USPS tracking (priority mail was not fast in this case, ugh), but it needs to be scanned in, which will probably be next Wednesday according to the c/s rep. Then, they actually process it (up to ten business days) then after that it will be about 5 business days before it's put into my bank account. So.....almost two weeks from now I should have it, then I can file. I met with a lawyer and it's all drawn up and ready to go as soon as I have the money. I am so frustrated with how long it's taking; I could have faxed it in but I thought sending it priority mail was better as it would be tracked instead of sitting in a stack over night, since I can only fax from work and I work nights. I was WRONG about that one, lol. Mailing it has added a week to the timeline. Oh, well :)

 

On the plus side, once it's filed, I will be getting my full paychecks again and can actually afford to live, there is a light!!!!!

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