If you have ever searched online, “how to file bankruptcy with no money,” you have likely come across a few ads offering the so-called free services to file bankruptcy. As with anything else in life, these offers are too good to be true. If you are going to be facing the federal courts, as you must when filing for bankruptcy, you need to have a qualified bankruptcy attorney on your side.
A number of these “free” bankruptcy services are actually anything but free and they often don’t even have an attorney on staff to help with the process. Instead, you will deal with a team of paper-pushers – individuals who fill out the forms for you, but who are not qualified to provide any type of legal advice. Or, you may encounter paralegals who (despite the title they have) can’t give you legal advice.
Understanding the Means Test
When you are filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there is a means test that is used to determine individuals who could pay off their creditors – at least partially – by filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you have a median income that is lower than the median income for the state of Florida for your household size, then you can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This can help to significantly reduce the costs associated with filing; however, in this type of bankruptcy your nonexempt assets will be completely liquidated.
How an Automatic Stay May Help You
An automatic stay is one of the biggest reliefs offered when you file for bankruptcy. If all of your money is going to paying your debt, then the automatic stay will help to stop collection actions immediately. This is true for lawsuits, credit card payments, collections on a defaulted account, and additional claims from your creditors. In some cases, it will provide enough breathing roof for you to begin getting your financial house together again. Once you are able to get some money put back, the stress of the situation will be reduced some. While bankruptcy is no easy process and it can be tough to recover, if you have a plan you will be able to exit bankruptcy better and be prepared to manage your finances down the road.
Avoid Falling for the Free Bankruptcy Ploys
Unfortunately, there are many services trying to sell you on free bankruptcy filing. This is not a smart course of action. If you do not have representation from a quality bankruptcy attorney in Florida, you may discover that a number of issues you are unprepared to handle occur. An attorney will assist with filling out paperwork, documenting assets and even represent you in court. The so-called free services don’t offer much more than help with the filing paperwork.
If you are contemplating filing for bankruptcy, make sure to hire a qualified bankruptcy attorney in Florida. To learn more, or schedule a consultation, contact the bankruptcy attorneys from the Badgley Law Group by calling407-781-0420.