Is bankruptcy really affordable?
As you may have read in our previous posts, Bankruptcy involves a comprehensive review of your income, expenses, property, and debts. Sometimes this means that you will have to pay back certain creditors or turn over some valuable property to the court to pay back other debts. You don't want to lose any property. You also don't want to pay back anything that is unnecessary. Bankruptcy is a serious decision. Everyone involved wants it to be fair and just.
The court charges a Bankruptcy filing fee. This fee goes to pay for several parts of the judicial system that are involved in your case. The court staff, judges, and trustee all need to be compensated for performing work on your case. Unfortunately, this means that they charge a fee to work on your case. This filing fee helps keep the system running. At the time of writing in St. Louis, a Chapter 7 filing fee is $335. A chapter 13 filing fee is $310.
The other fee you will be paying is for credit counseling. Within the last several years, the court has mandated that all St. Louis Chapter 7 and 13 Debtors must take a mandatory credit counseling course before filing for Bankruptcy. The good news is that this course can be completed online or over the phone. The course helps review your financial situation and explains your budget. There is a nominal fee for this court, usually less that $50. Additionally, there is a Debtor's Education course which is completed after the Bankruptcy case has been filed. This course continues on what was taught in the first course, but also has a fee. These courses combined should cost less than $100 once said and done. Often, attorneys like Tracy A. Brown will facilitate the registration and payment of these courses so that clients will have one less thing to worry about.
Finally, Attorneys will charge a fee to file a Bankruptcy case. An attorney will meet with their client, advise the client on their best options, collect any required paperwork or information, prepare the paperwork for filing, submit the paperwork with the court, and attend any related meetings or hearings at court. This isn't to say that a client will not have to do any work. Clients will generally have to collect and submit information to the attorney and trustee to ensure that they comply with all applicable laws.
Is an attorney affordable? Most definitely. When you consider the sheer amount of debt you are carrying, an attorney charges only a fraction of that amount to wipe it out entirely. Attorneys answer your questions and alert you to any trouble before your case gets filed. Attorneys can also help avoid the headache and heartache that may come when the trustee wants to take your property. It is extremely difficult to get out of Bankruptcy trouble once your paperwork is filed with errors. Having an attorney can alert you to issues upfront before the court sees anything.
At the Law Office of Tracy A. Brown, we offer competitive pricing for attorneys fees. We provide comprehensive packages that include credit counseling, credit reports, and guides to help lead clients to a successful outcome. We work closely with our St. Louis clients to ensure they can truly free their future from their past. We also can break the fees down into convenient payment plans that make the process even more affordable.
Since 1997, the St. Louis attorneys at The Law Office of Tracy A. Brown, P.C., have helped hundreds in Saint Louis stop creditors from harassing, garnishing, and threatening clients through Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings that alleviate excessive debt. Contact us today to free your future from your past.