It seems like an unfair catch-22: you can’t afford to pay your bills, and yet you’re expected to fork out cash you don’t have in order to file for bankruptcy. When people think about bankruptcy, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is usually what they’re thinking of. It is sometimes described as a “liquidation,” because it releases a debtor from many (but not all) of his or her debts. For many people who are struggling as a result of debt, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the relief they need to start fresh. If you need to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Missouri with no money, what are you to do? Read on to learn what you should—and shouldn’t—do.
Don’t DIY it
If you have an extremely simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, meaning you have little income and few or no assets, you may be able to represent yourself in your bankruptcy and file on your own. However, legal paperwork is full of jargon, and even a straightforward bankruptcy requires significant time and research. Remember that your future is on the line—a failure to file correctly could get your bankruptcy case thrown out, and the effort (and money!) you put into filing will be wasted.
Ask Friends and Family to Help
It’s always hard to ask for financial help, but many people are surprised by the generosity of their family and friends when they ask. Your loved ones want the best for you, and many would be more than happy to help you push the “reset” button on your financial future!
Stop Paying Your Debts
If you are earning income and are considering bankruptcy, bringing your next paycheck to a bankruptcy attorney’s office might be the best possible way to spend it. That’s because as soon as your bankruptcy is filed, collectors have to stop harassing you, and creditors must stop wage garnishment, foreclosure, and repossession proceedings.
Work out a Payment Plan
A good Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney understands that money is really tight for you right now. When you meet with your lawyer for the initial consultation, ask them about the possibility of paying them in installments so you can more easily absorb the cost.
Trim Your Expenses
Many people can find a few hundred dollars a month just by cutting common expenses like coffees, lunches out, and cable TV. Every little bit helps—consult your bankruptcy attorney if you need help determining where to scrimp and save.
Don’t Take on More Debt to File
It might seem tempting to take out one more loan to get the cash to file your bankruptcy but tread with caution: debt incurred in the 90 days leading up to a bankruptcy will not be discharged in the proceedings.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Missouri bankruptcy attorney. We will walk you through your options and help you discover the best plan of action for your unique financial situation.