When the decision to file bankruptcy has been made the next thing to consider is the costs involved with the process. Many people filing bankruptcy do not have a lot of money on hand or else they would not be in the position of having to file bankruptcy. The fist and most obvious cost that a debtor will incur are the fees for a bankruptcy attorney. An individual certainly can legally file bankruptcy pro se, or on their own, but this is not advisable.
The bankruptcy code was changed back in 2005 and is now more complex than before. If an individual is deeply in debt and they are looking for a fresh start, then having the help of a bankruptcy attorney is invaluable, especially when you consider the amount of debt that one is trying to wipe out. The cost of an experienced bankruptcy attorney to ensure that no mistakes are made and that all debt is wiped out is well worth the money and peace of mind. Besides the bankruptcy attorney fees, there are certain costs involved with the bankruptcy court as well. The bankruptcy court charges around a $200 filing fee for the bankruptcy petition. This is a onetime fee. The bankruptcy court also requires all debtors to complete a pre-bankruptcy credit counseling course and a post-bankruptcy financial management course that each cost around $30-$50 per class. The debtor can take these courses on line, in person and submit the course completion certificate to the court.
Once the 341 meeting and all course requirements have been completed the debtor can wait for their bankruptcy discharge in the mail. For many that file pro se, often find themselves not completing the loose ends and having their case dismissed without a bankruptcy discharge. While the bankruptcy court requires the individual to turn in the pre-bankruptcy credit counseling course at the time of filing the petition, the post bankruptcy financial management course is to be turned in been for the bankruptcy discharge is issued. Since nobody knows an exact date to complete it, sometimes this course gets overlooked. Once again, this is another reason to have a bankruptcy attorney working for the individual that is filing. An attorney will make sure that the small stuff doesn’t get overlooked and makes sure that all that work didn’t go to waste without receiving a bankruptcy discharge.
Compared to all other forms of debt elimination, filing bankruptcy is the most cost effective way for someone that has a large amount of unsecured debt. If someone adds up all of their debt that will be wiped out in the bankruptcy and compares it to the cost of a bankruptcy attorney and filing fees, they will quickly see the true value in the cost of filing bankruptcy.
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