Considering filing for bankruptcy? Bankruptcy can be a costly and strenuous process. Many people ask if it is possible to file bankruptcy for free. If you want to file bankruptcy for free, there are some steps you must follow very closely. The first step is the most important and will set the tone for the remaining steps, hopefully to fall easily into place. You will need to be thoroughly prepared in order to successfully complete the process of bankruptcy. If you are organized, it may only take you a few hours to get your paperwork together.
What You Need To Do To Start a Bankruptcy Case
Bankruptcy is always filed in federal court. The first thing you must do is to be fully prepared in order to request help from the federal government. This will help prevent surprises and you will be ready for any mishaps in advance.
Second, you can attempt to file bankruptcy for free if you do not hire an attorney, if you are eligible for a filing fee waiver and you are careful with your funds.
Third, it is necessary that you adhere to court procedures and actively participate in the administration of your case. There are other interested parties such as a trustee, the court, the creditors whom you owe and possibly other miscellaneous parties that can all file objections in your case. Any and all objections must be answered by you in order to avoid a dismissal of your case.
Fourth, an important step, is that the court will need to grant a discharge of your case and close it administratively. The closure of a case ends the court process and starts the time line for any potential creditors to file an appeal. When the appeal period concludes, your case is finally over and the results are final. The process cannot be overturned at this point.
How To Avoid Mistakes
Trying to file bankruptcy while cutting corners will most likely in poor representation of yourself and it will be difficult to satisfy the federal court’s legal requirements. If you do not prepare a quality representation of your case you will run the risk of possible dismissal of your case. Federal courts do not hand out discharges of debt lightly.
Federal courts do not provide free legal representation but you may be able to find a probono attorney to help you prepare quality documents. Bankruptcy laws are highly complicated and change frequently. Lawyers in this field study the law for years and still have difficulty keeping current with the changes.
Pro-bono attorneys can be helpful but also have limited resources and time. They may also not have an expertise that a retained attorney who is an expert in the field can offer. With that being said, there are law clinics and legal aid foundations out there that can provide help. These clinics and foundations may require strict qualifications though. If you are able to get assistance from one of these attorneys, make time to sit with them and explain your case specifically in order to best represent you to the courts.