One of the most frequent questions I get is: “How am I going to pay the attorney’s fees and costs for a bankruptcy?”
Yes, we know you’re seemingly strapped, but you actually have more resources than you realize.
Here are some:
1) Stop paying on the debt you are going to discharge anyway. In bankruptcy, almost all debts are dischargeable (wiped out). (There are a few, such as governmental fines, recent taxes, etc., but your bankruptcy attorney will identify them and discuss them with you.) The majority, such as credit cards, unsecured lines of credit, judgments, will be gone. Stop paying immediately and save up that money to finance your case. These are professional lenders, they understand.
And, by the way, once you hire an lawyer, you can stop the collector calls by simply telling them you have hired a bankruptcy attorney to prepare a case. Give them the name of your attorney, because they will call to confirm, and the calls will stop.
Professional lenders know they will be violating a court order by calling once you have filed, and since they don’t know when you will file, as a matter of company policy, they usually stop the calls altogether. Whew.
2) Get a “loan” from your secured lenders. If you have a mortgage on a house you want to keep, you may actually be doing the mortgage lender a favor by skipping a couple payments to pay for your case. If your goal is to save your home, you will probably be filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to catch up on your back payments — “cure the default” — and make your regular payments going forward.
Believe me, the bank does NOT really want to take your home. They are not in the real estate business. They are in the lending business. They want you to pay the mortgage and pay the arrears — that’s where they make money. If you skip a couple payments to get the money to set up a payment plan to pay them in Chapter 13, as well as freeing up more money by wiping out your other “junk” debt, such as credit cards, as a business matter, they won’t mind. You’re going to pay back the missed payments in the plan anyway.