Bankruptcy is a path taken by many people experiencing financial struggles. It is an effective way to get things back on track and take control of your financial future. Unfortunately, the bankruptcy process is not free. How does someone already facing financial struggles find a way to pay for the bankruptcy process that can get them back on track?
Before finalizing any decision it is important to speak with your bankruptcy attorney. He or she will explain the fees associated with bankruptcy and help you determine the best way for you to pay. If you are not yet working with an attorney, you can receive a free consultation to discuss your case, including bankruptcy fees and how to pay for them.
Your specific circumstances will determine the best method for you to use, but previous bankruptcy filers have chosen to:
Borrow money from family or friends – This method requires swallowing your pride, but it is the least damaging financially. You will need to tell your attorney where the money came from so it can be disclosed in your bankruptcy paperwork. If it’s a loan, the lender will be listed as a creditor and discharged in the case. You can pay the borrowed money back, but it will not be required by the court. If the money is a gift you might need to list it as income.
Get a second job or cut living expenses – Obviously you would not be facing financial challenges severe enough to warrant bankruptcy if this were an easy option, but it should still be considered. Maybe you were unable to come up with what you needed each month to pay bills on an ongoing basis, but the single payment of bankruptcy filing fees is possible. Just be sure to explore all of your options before settling on what is best for you.
Use a tax refund – The money returned to you in the spring from overpaying your taxes can be used to pay your bankruptcy fees. Your attorney can even help you estimate your tax return amount to determine if it will be enough to cover the fees.
Skip credit card, mortgage, or vehicle loan payments – This is risky option, but it is one that some people use because it frees up the money to make a change and get the filing process started. What you do in the weeks leading up to your bankruptcy will be carefully reviewed by the court, so be sure you speak with your attorney before skipping any payments in preparation for bankruptcy. Furthermore, if you are choosing bankruptcy because these loan payments were already going unpaid, skipping payments is not even an option.
It is not recommended you apply for an additional loan, such as a payday loan or other high-interest, high-risk loan, to pay for your bankruptcy. These types of lenders aggressively pursue loan repayment and if you put your vehicle or home at risk as collateral, it can have a detrimental effect on your bankruptcy.
The best thing you can do is discuss your specific case with a bankruptcy attorney who can help you determine the best option for you. To discuss you case, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696.