Debtors challenged by upfront costs of filing for bankruptcy
Bankruptcy has the potential to give people in Mississippi a fresh start if they are struggling with financial challenges. The need to pay for court fees and legal advice, however, can keep people from pursuing this legal remedy that might wipe out their burdensome debts. The challenge of paying for the process sometimes prompts people to choose Chapter 13 bankruptcy when filing under Chapter 7 could have produced greater benefits.
When debtors have no cash on hand to pay an attorney, they might agree to pay for legal representation as part of a Chapter 13 payment plan. This form of bankruptcy requires a debtor to create a plan for paying down debts over the course of a few years. By bundling legal fees into the agreement, attorneys gain a method for collecting payment. The drawback for debtors, however, involves their frequent inability to complete a payment plan. Failing to finish payments voids their bankruptcy protection and allows debts to return.
With a Chapter 7 filing, debtors generally receive a legal discharge of their qualifying debts. The assistance of an attorney with this process greatly increases the likelihood of a debtor gaining substantial debt relief without a payment plan.
The decision to file for bankruptcy requires a person to consider many variables. An attorney may inform a person about what types of assets could be exempt from liquidation, how to halt collection efforts and how to prevent foreclosure or wage garnishment. An attorney may help organize a person’s financial records for disclosure to the court. This effort might allow a person to avoid mistakes that could cause a court to reject an application. During the process, an attorney might also intervene to protect a person being harassed illegally by creditors.