How Much Does It Cost To File Bankruptcy?

It costs money to declare bankruptcy. Seems backwards, doesn’t it?

You have no money, which is why you’re filing for bankruptcy, yet it costs money to file bankruptcy. There really is not such thing as a free lunch! (and Bankruptcy is no free lunch, let me tell you)

Bankruptcy Costs

The us bankruptcy courts have filing fees. The cost of bankruptcy chapter 7 is a filing fee of $299, Chapter 13′s filing fee is $274. On top of that you have…

Attorney Fees

That’s not so bad, right? Well, hold your horses, that doesn’t include a lawyer!

Look, I had enough trouble just filling out the paperwork that my lawyer gave me. I can’t imagine trying to fill out and gather all the necessary paperwork and deal with the trustee all by myself.

When you’re thinking about Bankruptcy, it’s likely you’re very stressed (I know I was…heck, I still am). Most lawyers will have an option to pay their fee in installments. If they don’t….move on.

That said, I wouldn’t recommend the cheapest lawyer in your area either. I’d look for perhaps newly on their own bankruptcy attorney. Often new lawyers will work at a large firm out of Law School for a few years, then strike out on their own practice.

My experience with my lawyer was that although she was younger, she was very experienced (had worked at a large firm for a few years), but not outrageously expensive because her own practice was fairly new. Obviously this is just my two cents, most Bankruptcy attorneys will give you a free initial meeting. Setup 3-4 in a day, and see who you feel most comfortable working with and who is willing to work with your financial situation.

You’re going to end up paying anywhere from $700-$2000 to file Chapter 7, depending on what area of the country you are in. In my opinion having a lawyer severely lowered my stress during this whole process.

Setup a free evaluation. Best thing I did

A local bankruptcy attorney can help you understand the differences between Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, so that you can make an educated decision about the best next step for you. Fill out the form below for a free bankruptcy case evaluation.

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  • Jake Stichler

    …And then you walk in to court and the judge says, “you have all this money to pay for the filing and your attractive young attorney, why can’t you pay your bills instead?” Right?

    :-D Sorry, just thinking of a really crappy scenario (inside a larger crappier scenario).


    well, it’s like this with anything…
    just like JW at Weneedtobedebtfree… he had to spend 2500 to get 10000 of debt eliminated from a fine from the state. in the end, money well spent.

  • Heidi

    we are still interested to do a short sale but filed for bankrupcy. How much is the extra cost from the attorney to do this for us? Just not much out there on this subject. Thank you. Jane



  • Tracy

    If you have no property or possessions, they chance of anyone challenging the BK is slim. I own nothing, and have not been able to find a job. I decided to try selling insurance. It’s hard. No one has the money to buy health insurance. I am still applying for everything I am qualified to do with all the levels of government. My degree is so specialized and I have no experience so no one will hire me. ouch. I am stuck. I can’t borrow any more of Mom and Dad’s money to pay my bills. My parents can’t afford it. I have no options but Bk now. Which really sucks. I spent 10 years building the perfect credit report and 6 and half years in college expecting to get a great job and buy my first house. I am 39 years old and graduated in Dec 2007. I still live in an apt. If you have no choice file BK the creditors could careless that you can’t make the full payments. They add fees and up the interest…like that will somehow make money appear in my bank account to pay them?? I feel bad, but I feel like I have no choice. I only have money if I sell something and I can’t promise that will happen. I try to send money every month to everyone of my creditors. But they don’t care about a show of good faith. They only want their money.

  • Robert

    I am 24 year old, starting a new life.

    After a string of retail jobs after graduating high school, and a fairly successful webhosting operation, I decided that school was the only option if I ever wanted to move ahead in society. I completed my first semester, woo. I will be going for a four year degree in electrical engineering, after which I will try to secure a career in the renewable energy industry.

    Back to my first webhosting operation. I was still living at home, with my grandfather trying to get the company going. Things were going well, and I was building a solid client base, then my grandfather’s health started deterorating badly, eventually landing him in a nursing home and me out on my own. Credit card debt from the hosting company was at about $15000, ouch!

    And since I didn’t have any school or any other skills besides web design and business, the best job offers that I could find were retail jobs paying $10.00-$12.00, barely enough to feed myself, make car insurance and to pay for a room at my buddy’s house.

    My credit cards started being discharged, and then I couldn’t even get a car loan.

    I had to beg my grandmother to co-sign on a car loan for me. But wait, I forgot to check and see what the payment on the insurance would be. Because of my horrible credit, and a wreck, I was paying close to $240/mo in insurance on a fucking 2004 Honda Civic. $20 a month more than on my 6-year term car loan.

    I saved up enough cash and sold the car, to get out of the loan.

    I found another B.S. grocery store job and rode my bike to and from 6 miles everyday. The pay was $10.00 an hour, but it was enough for me to save up for two months and combine my last year’s income taxes and the two month’s worth of paychecks so I could afford a luxorious 1994 Honda Accord LX with 145,000 miles.

    I rebuilt the car basically, putting in a new transmission, a new distributor cap and rotor, plugs, plug wires, spedo sensor, timing belt, 4 new ‘used’ tires, brake pads and o2 sensor, which I am using to commute to school.

    Because of this string of bad luck, I am now at a point where I have to file for Chapter 7 liquidation, because with my bad credit I cannot even find an apartment where anyone will be willing to lease to me. The only job that I can find with my horrible credit, is a part-time work-study job that pays $7.50 an hour, and I get about 18 hours a week.

    So, this summer, I plan on filing for Chapter 7 liquidation so that after I graduate in four years (school is going great, by the way), I will not be held back by my past life’s obstacles. Hopefully this Chapter 7 will not preclude me from getting a job offer.

    Hopefully in 90-days I can obtain a secured credit card with no monthly fees or anything, so I can have a credit score in a year and move closer to my school so I won’t have to worry about this old beater anymore. Man, it has taken me a long time to get my shit together.

  • Trisha

    The thing I hate about paying back creditors is that every time you make a payment it seems if you still owe more cause they still add charges on top of what you pay. It is messed up and they dont care. I completely stopped paying on all my credit cards after that and I told them until I see one single amount that will stay that amount forget them cause im not paying it I am only paying for that I used on the card not the fucking fees and shit.

  • Walt

    I agree with a lot of these comments. ESPECIALLY the one about how credit card companies will jack up the interest and add fees as if that’s going to make the money appear in your bank account?!?!? I’m on the verge of filing chapter 7. I’m just doing my homework on it right now.

  • chicago

    I am working at the moment but there is a chance I will be laid off in 3 weeks si I am doing my homework. I stopped using my CCs over 6 months ago and am in the middle of paying them off and not spending any money unless I need to and I have it in my account or my emergency account to pay for it outright.

    But, If I get laidoff, i will not be able to pay for my house, and my CC bills, along with insurance, and help with my family and those who aren’t working. I am not trying to make excuses or anything. just felt like commenting after reading a few other posts.

    Anyway, I hope filing for bankruptcy will not be too much of a hassle, though I know it won’t be easy.

  • mary

    Thank all of you for your honesty. this is a very difficult situation for me. I am a little afraid, embarrassed and confused. I have a job, divorced, 4 children and barely making ends meet. I don’t own a house or property,just have credit card bills, payday loans, medical bills, student loans, and the everyday living expenses and daycare and I am barely making it. I feel like I have no choice.

  • duane

    How can collection companies buy your debt for 5 cent’s on the dollar
    and still get too charge you the full amount you owe? while at the same
    time the debt purchaser or collection agency that bought the debt
    get’s a tax deduction or write off? You talk about a government bailout
    for bank’s but yet nobody talk’s about the current issue that collection agency’s have been
    getting government bailout’s for the past ten year’s? hmmm; wonder if anyone
    ever thought of starting there own collection agency too buy our own debt for 5cent’s on the dollar and so we can get our own tax credit?

  • Dan

    I declared bankruptcy years ago. It was a godsend. I suggest it to anyone who is buried in debt. I found that after struggling for about 6 months after the bankruptcy to get rolling again, I was actually able to buy all the stuff I wanted that would normally had to go onto a credit card. Big tv’s, computers, etc… all could be had if I waited about 60 days to save up and then pay in cash. To show an example of why I dont feel bad about it is : I had a capitol one card $300 limit and 100 of that was prepay. They wouldnt apply payments on time, nor would they list fees until 59 days had past (just before the 2nd billing cycle). So I would think I was ahead, but then find out 2 months later that I was charged a $50 late fee which put me over my limit, which then caused a $50.00 over limit fee. By the time it was done, this card with its 300 limit of which 100 was covered, had a bill of over $1400.00 on it. Whats the point of even trying to pay an $1100 minimum payment. Hello bankruptcy, hello better life. Dont feel bad about it. You will struggle a bit at first, but when $300 a month is no longer going out the door to credit cards, think of how much easier that money can make your life when it is still in your pocket.

  • Joakim

    Hi, I am going to file for bankruptcy in California. Does anyone have a good reference to a lawer thats not expensive? Thanks.

  • Snarkie

    Try your City’s BAR Association. Most likely, they’ll have Attorney referrals (SF has it for $25.00) – I just contacted them to get myself a BK atty.

    Good luck.

  • Lew

    Ok….I am wayyyyyy in debt and I feel that Chapter 7 is my only alternative.
    But I am confused….Do you have to go before a judge and can he/she turn
    this down? And how do I pay for a lawyer when I can’t pay my electric bill..
    Hello, AZ in the summer! $500 bills!!!!

  • http://[email protected] sal

    hello everybody;I need some help please.I am in debt with credit cards.i have a house it worth it less then i owe to bank.if i go to bankrupcy credittorts will go after my house.?And I live Longisland NY anybody knows lawyer charge very less for my kind of cases.Thank you all

  • In Who Lise

    Hello Everyone and Thank you for the great comments. I was kind of, sort of smart, putting my grad classes on two credit cards instead of taking out school loans(which are almost never forgivable, short of dying, writing from experience my 55 year old brother flatlined for 4 minutes had a massive stroke and school loans are still garnishing money out of his Social Security Disability check. You can get it waved but numerous Doctors have to fill out pages of paperwork on your behalf) Here I was, a supervisor at a world renowned cultural institution and, yep, laid off and broke with $12,000(used to be $ 17,000) in credit card debt. I know its not a lot but the $300.00 in monthly payments have dwindled my savings account. I’m seriously thinking of walking away and declaring bankruptcy. I mean, sure my credit is good, but who cares, what did good credit get any of us anyway. Thank you everyone for your terrific thoughts. In these economic times. I would not be surprised if everyone takes a ding on their credit reports.

  • Jaime

    Anyone know who can help with a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy application in Los Angeles, California?
    I just don’t have the money to pay for an Attorney that will help with the application.


  • bri

    So im 25 and have about 16k in CC debt. On top of that I own more on my car then it’s worth. Currently my wages are being garnished by a credit card company. I make just enough to pay rent, car loan, insurance, and food for the month. Looking into the BK option and not sure where to start or even what chapter to file under.

  • MO

    I’m going through a divorce and my wife stopped paying on her half of the bills and left me to deal with credit cards, car loans, and over whelming amounts of defaults on my credit report. I’m having a hard time finding apartments and I’m having a hard time finding decent paying jobs. I’m currently in school for my bachelors and i’m going to have to pay back school loans in addition to that i’m paying childsupport. What are the cheapest ways for filing bankruptcy? Any advice is appreciated.


    I was slammed with a summons, I am in debt with Chase Credit card..umm owe them ALOT. i feel like BK may be my only hope. really. Because what else will happen> I will go to court they will say “can you pay 1000 a month” nope i am a social worker..hmmmm. So a BK may be the way. my concern is jobs in the future when they ask if you have a BK. What do you think?

  • GregOhio

    To those who asked: the criteria for bankruptcy are set by law, not the judge’s whim. Unless your case is glaringly abusive, like hiding assets or making purchases intending not to pay them back, your creditors won’t object, and the judge will never even consider refusing your case.

    Your attorney can tell you if you have anything to worry about. The vast, vast majority do not.

  • George

    Do you have to hire a attorney to file bankruptcy, or can I fill out the forms myself and taKE THEM TO A JUDGE ?

  • Gina

    It sounds like you are getting you life together pretty well now. It is good that you found a way to pay off your car since your grandmother cosigned. Not everyone is that ethical. I hope school goes well and your bankruptcy too. I am about to go through the same thing.

  • Gina

    You can protect your house and still do bankruptcy. Talk to a lawyer. Look up your town and bankruptcy lawyers, call one and get a free consultation.

  • Gina

    You can fill out the forms yourself. Buy a do it yourself bankruptcy book. Be sure is is a 2010 edition (yes they are already on the shelves) and study it. It usually includes all the forms for about $40

  • Monica

    I am 24 years old in virginia… I spoke to a legal attorney back in the summer to file chapter 7 they are based on your income. She said not to file because of my income, she said i do not make enough for anyone to garnish me or any immediate loss. So four months pass and i find a garnishment summons sent to my father’s house, i missed the original court date. So i filed a exemption to garnishment #9 for wages. Because im now being denied by the legal services because of what my boyfriend makes like he supports me. I’m furious with that whole situation they never cared about my fathers income but now im in a situation and they deny me. I have had two surgerys in the past first when i was 19 and living in nevada and nobody would help me the county, the city, welfare. Than here i had surgery again for a gall stone in my bile duct which is rare because ur not suppose to get them my age and specially when ur gall bladder was already taken out. So I never got the whole college experience before i new it i was in debt. I assume it all adds up to about 60,000 dollars… They plan to garnish my paychecks at 178 a pay period which is every two weeks. And i don’t even make 500 in two weeks. I am a medication tech at a assisted living. I spend my life taking care of others, parents and grandparents. I tried posting to other lawyers to even know what i should bring to the court case. I don’t want to be unprepared and i cant even find any info on it. I’m so scared it will put my relationship in jeopardy, and leave me homeless. So now my options are to fight the garnishment, or let it pass and go to the hearing in may and fight it than with a lawyer to get my garnishment back. Or file chapter 7 to just stop everything. But, if they garnish me and it costs 700-2000 than im very screwed. I cant even make it to my next check after paying rent, grocerys, car insurance, phone. I’m broke……. I think my options are very limited at this point accept begging to be pro bono to some lawyer.

  • Thomas

    Hello there, I need help in my credit card debt. I am dependent and dont have a job for myself, have a credit card debt which I got into 8 yrs ago. Creditors calling me now (after 8 yrs) to payoff that debt. Dont have a money to pay. What should I do? No option to go.
    Bank Ruptcy? I am not sure . What is my best option?

  • Lori

    Can someone give me the name of a cheap bankruptcy lawyer in
    Tampa, Fl… Pleaseeee

  • Loki

    OK, my wife and I are thinking of filing bancruptcy. I was laid off from my job(it went to Mexico), unemployment is not covering all the bills. She is a server/bartender, so there is no real steady income we can count on there. I have $1500 in child support, which I still haven’t got any letters for a hearing. I guess our main question is, after filing bancruptcy what is the probability of buying a house or how long does anyone think it will take to be able to buy a house.
    I love all the comments and yes life is stressfull with debt.

  • marvin

    more power to you…just reading you remark, gives me hope. thanks.

  • marvin

    Hi i am looking for some advice, i am a boat load of debt. i don’t even know who my creditors are. i owe about 12000 in credit cards and medical bills, not to mention 25000 in student loans. i am currently unemployed…i am looking for the best option out of this. could someone please offer me some advice. thanks.

  • Sylvia

    I borrowed money from my sister, who I now don’t even talk to for other reasons, and then had financial problems and could not pay it back every month. Payments were erratic. We ended up in mediation over another matter, and in the mediation she agreed to drop a counter suit against me if I agreed to a payment schedule of $1000 a month for the next 3 years. I have paid off 1 year, but am now looking to file bankruptcy as I am so incredibly in debt due to my business taking a major nosedive. I have not been paid by my business or made any profit for the past 2 years. In fact, the business is now about $350,000 in debt and will most likely shut down with this bankruptcy. We can pay monthly bills with my husbands check, but not repay all these debts or her $1000 a month. Will this agreement be eligable for a dischargeable?

  • Vande

    If the debt is that ols ask a lawyer at a free consultaion if it is too old in your old for them to try to collect it. The statue of limiataion may be over and they cannot collect.
    Im not a lawyer and Im just learning about BK myself but Im pretty sure that is what I read some where.

    I suggest you: search online for your states statue of limiations on debt(whatkind it is)
    and get some answers.

    If they havnt got to you after this long you may not have to pay it at all.
    UNLess it is a student loan which alot of people say never go away.
    My student loan haunted me for years 10 yrs and they agrnished my wages.I didnt know about the limitat ions then so I got so scared when my boss said to me
    (I was working at the time but lost the job after one boss died)
    sorry we have to garnish your wages cause this looks like a legal paper from the court.
    I asked them to give me a week or two to try to work it out,nope. so I had to charge it on my new husbands Credit card and Im still paying it off.

    wish I knew more at that time.
    spend as much time as you can researching online and get informed.

    Im searching to file BK due to a hospital bill of 27,0000. cause no job= no money=no insurance. and even when I had a job i couldnt afford the insurance!
    hope this helps abit.
    good luck to us all.

    P.S. I just dont know how the people who work at collection agencies can live with themselves! They have all sold thier souls to the devil! I hope it (debt) happens to them too .I curse all you debt collectors ! burn in hell when you die! for your treatment of decent people who come upon hard times.

  • Emmanuel

    I thought I was the only one with credit card problems, but it seems that I am not alone. ever heard the saying, “I WAS YOUNG AND STUPID”, well that’s exactly what happened to me. I was 20 when I received my first creit card with an 11k credit line…I went on a vacation and when I returned I was fired…so I had to apply for other credit cards in order to pay off one credit card, n I stopped this process aafter my 4th credit card bcuz I noticed that the credit card billl never got lower but higher…it took me 6 months to find a new job n the bills were so high that I couldn’t even pay the minimum payment…collection wud call at the crack of dawn n call until 9pm…I couldn’t even take my midterm or finals exam in peace because my phone would vibrate every time collection would call…I am going to be 23yrs old this month and honestly I want to be debt free, and filling bankrupty is my last option wit lawyers now calling me to collect money for the debt…I want to become a police officer, but I think that i’ll have to give up that dream because of filling bankruptcy….my income isn’t so high because I work as a security officer…I haven’t seen any garnishment on my paycheck and want to avoid it….so does anyone know how long after filling for bankruptcy can I rebuild my credit? and does any1 know any attorney for bankrupty in newark, new jersey

  • http://DebtKid Tammy

    Don’t panic, just realize that insurance companies (all of them!), credit card comapanies, banks and anyone else willing to lend money, are all crooks. There is life after bankruptcy. Unfortunately I had to file at a time where a severe injury left me without a career, going through divorce at the same time and being hospitalized forced me to absolutely file for chapter 7. That was over 12 yrs. ago here in California. Within 3 years I bought a home and a new car. I even had a credit card or two. Life was back to normal.
    But wait, the economic meltdown and job loss have put me in another situatuion where I am looking at filing again……. After years of responsible living here we go again.
    I see the bigger problem being that many of us are unemployed or working extremely low paying jobs that do not offer a living wage. The basic neccessities of life are no longer attainable for most people and hanging on to a home is impossible. The banks and the feds are a joke. Will I feel guilty about filing again if I have to? No Will my life ever be the same? I hope not cause this pressure is killing me.
    I am not an expert but when you are young filing may seem like a life long issue.. It is not.
    You will have many years to recoup what you have lost and rebuilding your credit begins the minute after your bankruptcy is finalized. As for me, losing my home and filing for bankruptcy may seem harsh, but there is no good solution. Good paying jobs with benefits aren’t available and at my age ( well over forty), the prospects seem dim. I thought I would never be in this place again. Never say never.

  • Gabe

    I was never intending on not paying but havent had work. The contract I signed seems like its bogus, because I had absolutely no credit. They lied and said I was in college so i get a college credit card saying I could “build credit” I now have ruined my credit and cant afford bankruptcy. I thought they would give me a single number to pay off but I may have half a dozen late payments a year. I cant afford that so I thought they could waive something since the only reason a person with no credit owes them money, which they harass me for constantly is because they duped me in. Im willing to accept my fair share but they wont I may have no choice but to walk away with ruined credit(not fair)…. I tried so what are my legal obligations on a contract that I unfortunately signed but wasn’t true and correct can I fight this without paying for attorney,,etc. Have no money at all no job no unemployment nada

  • d paul

    I am 32 yrs ol I have my masters degree I have 50,00 in student loans The last 1yr was let go job now have no job for the last 2 yrs many bills no money to pay was told to file bankructy for even if I could get a job tomorrow I would never be able to pay off loans What is the best situtation for me I dont own amything except for my car and also how much will this cost. I live in NJ
    Also will the hurt me to on looking for a new job wont be able to get hired?
    Please need help going into depression
    What is best Thanks

  • Bill Gray

    I was in the hospital for 32 days, and ran up around $3,000 in co pays above my health insurance. Haven’t been able to work for over a year. I’m in debt to the tune of 75,000 and need around $1,400 a month to meet my debts, along with several medical services calling for their money. I have $1,300 a month coming from SS,, I need around $1, 800 a month to just survive. Do I qualify for bankkruptcy?

  • VAAmbition

    Tracy, your story sounds a lot like mine. I own nothing other than some thrift store chairs, 2 beds and a dresser! I lost a semi-decent full-time job 2 years ago, and my life’s been a disaster ever since. I cut up my credit cards even before I lost my job 2 years ago and still could not pay my creditors. While losing that job was a blessing in disguise (had to quit school b/c of the stress, constant harassment from managers, heart problems due to the stress), it still sent me into a down-ward spiral that I haven’t been able to recover from. I’ve been looking for another full-time job ever since.

    I moved into my own place last Summer, as I had been working a promising full-time job for over a month and 2 part-time jobs. I paid for basic living expenses on my own but still there was nothing extra for creditors. Collections people are VILE humans. I’ve even had them call my Mother and Grandmother and nearly give them a stroke telling them I was going to jail if I didn’t pay, etc. A month after I moved into my place I lost my full-time job and was left w/ 28-30 hours a week, but my rent, car payment, food, auto insurance all were based on 70 hours a week. Now there’s no money to even eat after I pay just my rent b/c 2 of my creditors are garnishing almost $400/mth from my pay. What now?? Begging my family for the money to file BK b/c there is no other way to stop the garnishments and my family makes sure I don’t go hungry. The BEST part? The largest garnishment can never be stopped b/c it’s for Federal student loans.

    So, Tracy, keep your head up, don’t be ashamed to file for BK b/c sometimes the decision comes down to whether you eat and keep a roof over your head!

  • Jessie

    To Brian Gray: You are absolutely eligibe for bankruptcy. Medical bills are one of the primary causes of bankruptcy. Get out of this debt asap. God bless.

  • Jessie

    Whoops, I meant Bill Gray!

  • Gisselle

    Hello everyone…it seems that i’m not alone. I’m 27 years old and I graduated from college in 2008 and began to work right away. In August 2009 that job went away when I got laid off…I had to move back with my mother because I could not afford my rent and bills. I have applied for every job out there and I have gotten nothing so far. I’ve managed to pay for phone, food and some credit cards thanks to some money I saved…well the savings went away and I had to stop paying the credit cards….I have a combine debt of 12000 and the deb collectors won’t let me live in peace. I have no job, no money and I don’t own anything of value that I could sell to pay some of that debt. I’m desperate!
    How much does it cost to file bankruptcy? Does anyone knows a cheap attorney in the Miami area that can assist me with this problem?

  • Roman

    Can anyone tell me of a good, inexpensive attorney in Sacramento,Ca. Area
    I have seen a couple and their fees are from 2,500 to 3,000.
    Like Bill Gray I too have had 3 major surgery’s in the last 18 months and I’m going back on a leave of absents from work again this week.
    I’m not sure how long the leave will be this time and I can no longer take the added pressure of the past due bill collectors calling everyday.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Bitty

    Hello to everyone out there who is in the same boat that I am in with debt! Between my husband and I, we both have about 35,000 that we owe to bill collectors, medical bills, 3 vehicle repo’s in the past 5 years! When will it ever stop. We r both in our 30′s and have both filed bankruptcy in the past (before we met). His bankruptcy is just over 8 years, and when I filed, it has just been a little over 6 years. Being that we are married, can we now file together, because we have accumulated dept together?
    I am school and the school loans r racking up! My husband has been laid from his place of employment since Jan 2009, he has been on unemployment, that has almost run out, he has applied for job after job, and so have I. I have not had any luck, but he finally got a break, he found a job only paying 9 an hour. What else is there to do, but file for bankruptcy. This financial situation is taking a toll on both of us. With a family of five, it is very hard during this downed ecomony.

    So would it be a good thing to file bankruptcy again? Someone please give us some advice. Thank you so much.

  • Giau

    Hi guys, I’m not the one in debt but my parents are. I’ve tried everything in my power to help them pay off the credit card faster but yeah its not going too well. Originally they owed about $50,000 and I had contacted a place that specializes in debt negotiating which lowers the credit card amount owed to an amount that is easily paid by them. Everything went well for a while and then some creditors decided to sue my parents and well now we’re paying for lawyers to help dismiss the cases but its getting too much for my parents. They’ve made bad choices since they were immigrants from a different country. To be honestly truthful, right now I don’t even know how much they owe. And add that to the home we bought (which now doesn’t worth anything, the mortgage is more then the house). I am thinking that the only way for us to have a normal life is to file a BK but my parents says that’s the last thing they want. Both my brother and I are in college so money is tight. I’m 20 and still unable to find a job in this economy. To add more to this the only person who’s really working is my dad, my mom is disable and can’t do much. Would be BK the only choice? And how much will it cost?

  • Timothy

    So what you are telling me is

    1. Lawyers offer their services for a fee, instead of doing their job for free

    2. There is nothing free in life


  • Deb

    Hi Tammy, I am in my 50′s and I can relate to your situation. I have not had a job for six months. I used credit cards to make payments and now I no longer have any credit. This month I can’t pay the bills. I don’t know how far behind you have to be in your bills to claim bankruptcy. How are you doing now?

  • steve

    i have one question, towards the beginning of this article it says”Most lawyers will have an option to pay their fee in installments. If they don’t….move on.” could somebody please explain this a little bit..even though i know i cant afford to pay costs all upfront and dont want to pay for something that hasnt been resolved yet, i would like some input about this

  • Rose

    thank you for putting this up here, I’m about to go into bankruptcy and reading this gives me hope that this isn’t going to be the end for me.

  • Pingback: Do I Regret Filing for Bankruptcy at Age 23?

  • megan

    I’ve got a hard time having sympathy for anyone on this thread under the age of 40 “needing” to file bankruptcy.

    @d paul May 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm “I am 32 yrs ol I have my masters degree I have 50,00 in student loans” – Dude, GO HUSTLE. Get a fricking bartending job! You cannot BK out of Fed Student loan debt anyway.

    @Gisselle – seriously…$12,000K in debt and you want to tube? L-O-S-E-R!

    Anyone ever heard of budgeting? Second jobs? Sucking it up? Just askin’… [I also worked through college, paid the whole debt $50K plus, had 4 surgeries, was not supported by my parents (and not whining b/c I wasn't) worked 3 jobs during school etc. and paid EVERYTHING. ]

    @Bitty, your post made me sick! You’re going to file BK again? TWICE?? Come on now? Do you realize every time you do this you actually force the rest of us to pay more in interest and fees? The “horrible” banks don’t eat your debt, other consumers actually pick up the tab! Take time off from school (tough pill to swallow but you can go back) and WORK!

  • Paco Perez

    uh, the banks do ‘eat’ your debt. other consumers ‘pick up the tab’ by paying high interest rates — the consumers that are high credit risks, that is… which, presumably, wouldnt apply to megan.

    of course, the exception here would be when the government decides to just give banks a lot of $$$ to bail them out of these garbage loans. then ‘the rest of us’ pay more in taxes.

  • Linda Raincrow

    I have the same the problem as everyone else has. the attorney fees. i can’t pay right away. If I could make payment arrangements, that would work for me. I’m an older widow woman and can’t seem make ends meet. Bankruptcy is my only out. If someone could let me know of such an attorney, i would appreciate it.

  • Robert in the Bay Area

    For anyone considering bankruptcy this is what I did. First, I tried working with some of my credit cards people asking if we can do a payback management program. I called several, and this was in late 2009 right around the financial collapse. They didn’t want to work with me. I continued to pay and lost my job 3 months later. I’ve been taking money out of my retirement to pay them. I can’t do that anymore. I want to my local Consumer Credit Counseling Service (non-profit). They were useless. I was told by a bankruptcy attorney that even the non profits work for the credit companies because he said “they only charge their client a $35-55.00 monthly fee, and that isn’t going to cover their overhead”.) Most bankrutpcy attorneys will give you 1 hour free time. Take notes. And meet with more than one attorney, I did. I got conflicting information. Finally, call your local Bar Association for a referral. You probably will get about 30 minutes for a $35.00 fee. I found a great attorney through the service. I am now filing bankruptcy. The decision to file isn’t any easy one. It has taken me almost two years go “go for it and file.” I’ve learned my lesson. No more credit. I haven’t used my cards in 8 months. I pay everything in cash.

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  • Drownin

    I been thinking about this for a very long time and been holding off. I had a good job as Network System Engineer at Bofa. Life was great until the merger and I was laidoff in 2003. I was jobless for 2 yrs, I tried every company around that time and was not able to find a single job in that field of work. No one was hiring, I quit paying on my cc and my student loans. Keeping a roof over my head was way more important. I felt bad and shamefull not able to pay them back. Well, collection started, credit went bad, student loans on default, and IRS intercepting income taxes on school loans. Talking about getting hit hard!. Well, I bounced back and got a job in 2005. I’m thinking about BK because 1. I need to STOP the garnishment. 2. If you owe 5k, it becomes 10K from collections, it doubles when they buy it from the creditors. Its never going to stop and you will never pay it off. They take $1000 a month from me in garnishment/ $250 or more a week. Its killing me, $13K on one cc from orginal $6K. I didn’t asked to get laidoff, jobs go away to other countries because its cheaper to operate. Banks get bailouts because they give out bad loans to home owners-WTF. We the tax payers pay for that. I don’t feel bad after hearing all the things banks do. They do not care about your well being. Take care of you and your family people. They come first, hell with the collections.

  • onefootofftheledge

    At least one good thing about everyone’s troubles, it makes you realize you’re not alone. I was laid off in 2005, didn’t stress because I was experienced and degreed so I could find another job, right? 6 years later I am broke and in debt to an amount more than I used to gross in a year. I started selling off stocks to survive and figured I could pay the taxes when I started working again. I have burned through my retirement, I owe the IRS so much money it’s not even funny. I had to stop paying on my credit cards because the IRS wanted what little cash I was getting from relatives to survive. I have no way to pay rent next month. I had to stop paying credit cards and my phone wont stop ringing. (But that will stop when they turn my phone off.) And as of yesterday the IRS seized the last 193.00 in my checking account. I would file BK but I don’t even have the money for that. I have a degree, a good background but I’m 50 and now have horrible credit. Aint’ life grand!

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  • I’m doing it!

    Hi….i just want to say…to each his or her own…just because some can make it that do not mean we all can. My story is i was laid-off from a multi-billion dollar company. I bought my home with my husband and yes i racked up a lot of bills in home improvement and other life necessities. I worked there for 9yrs. and i successfully owned a daycare in which my sister ran for me while i worked. I was able to pay with the jobs i was working. I had no problems. I took vacations and paid my staff. If i wanted a nice pair of shoes. I bought them. I worked hard for the lifestyle i lived. I even had 401k and i nice savings for my age (37) at that time. Well. I was laid off August of 2008. I it really didn’t affect me because i still had my daycare business. I was also able to keep my assistant and sister employed. I only really kept the job because of the matching 401k and other benefits and it allowed me to be away from home where my business is located. Like i said when i lost the job i was not really affected. I only lost $1500.00 a mth….but when my sister died 6mths. after my lay off my world crumbled…I love my sister so much. I feel into a depression and am no longer able to drive my business as hard as she did. I also inherited her 2 children which are 9 and 2 1/2. The 2yr old was 3mth when my sister died. It not only added stress to me but it hurt my business. People have grandma and pa caring for their kids so i lose clientele. My daycare kids age out and i can’t help my husband pay the bills like i use to. We don’t take vacays either…lol. My phone rings off the freak’n hook. I don’t answer. I block all 1800 and out of state calls and i stop opening mail. I am truly broke. Yes i tried making payments plans and explaining why i can’t pay…but creditors only want their money…”ma’am we can bring your payments up to date if you can send us $100.00″. Well guess what. I dont have it! So….I’m doing it! Im filing bankruptcy this week….screw everyone that say…”get a job” or “go back to work”…screw u…til you lived in my shoes and have to feed 5 kids… let me WUSAH! calm down. I’m doing it!

  • Success From Debt

    My ex wife went through bankruptcy and she said it was one of the worst experiences of her life. It was an essential thing for her to do. Was it horrible? YES but was it worth it? YES. So if your situation calls for no other option then just grit your teeth and just take care of it. The sooner it is taken care of, the sooner you can get on with your life.

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  • epiphany

    I urge anyone who has to file bankruptcy to spend the money and get the lawyer….you will save your self so much aggravation and perhaps the mistakes that could cost you your discharge. Filing bankruptcy is a business decision and if you are going to do it, the sooner the better. I probably should have filed two years sooner than I did.

    Good luck to all,


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  • cindi

    I moved to CA three and a half years ago looking for opportunity. I found none and became unemployed for two years. I used a credit card to buy food and stayed with a relative during this time. I am a great job hunter. My skills did not help me. There are so many people out of work in California, it’s almost too hard to actually believe. Hundreds (maybe even thousands) of people apply for one position. Eventually, I managed to find a limited term position working for the state. While I am focusing on staying alive, the credit card company was increasing my Minimimum Payment due and was not accepting anything less. I could not pay what they were asking, so here come the lawyers who have now put a Wage Garnishment on my check.
    I also have thousands of dollars in student loans. This debt has made me old before my time. I have to see a psychiatrist and I hate money more than I have ever hated anything on earth. This is real, people. It feels good to vent.

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  • slimdiggidy

    I cant belive my ears. Is that a workoholic cry baby i hear? Why yes it is…. Some people have kidds and other obligations and cant work three jobs super hero. So stop whining about how you had to pay in your own round about way. want me to get you a bucket? Go bitty do your thang.

  • Old Man

    Husband & wife bills + Child support, Years ago I split up with a lady I was marred to, She agreed to pay her share of the bills and so was I, So I agreed to paying Child support, Because I trusted her I didn’t even get a lawyer, Very stupid move, After the divorce I found I was stuck with all the bills and Child support And she got everything. At that same time I owed tax money and was on a payment plan that was set up as a voluntary garnishment, In my state the most anyone can take from your pay roll is 50% and in the following order,
    Child support is first, Tax’s are second and normal bills are last,
    Well the tax man was taking 25% and the normal bill collectors where fighting for the second half of the allowed 50%, That’s when I got an idea, I called my x and asked her if she could get my check garnished for the child support, She did and between the tax and Child Support that tied up the 50% of my check and my son at the time would not be 18 years old for 11 years, And my tax bill would also take about that long to pay off, The next time a bill collector called me and want a payment, I said I was sorry but my pay check was tied up for about the next 11 years at least, But I told them if they looked at the bottom of the contracts My x and I signed they had 2 names and she was as responsible for those bills as much as I was, The only difference no body was chasseing after her. I suggested they might want to give her a call, To make a long story short the bill collectors went after her and Because they could not touch me they garnished her pay check, It all worked out great, I paid my tax’s on time and my Child Support, So I was covered and no one could touch me, When she received the Child Support she had to turn around and send it to a bill collators, Buy the time all the bills where paid off my credit looked great and I covered everything the legal way.
    Think outside the box, You can fix your problem with a little though. She hates me but I can live with that LOL

  • Ann

    Hey, I had 10 credit cards. I filed chapter 7. Debt free from that. It cost me a 100 dollars consulation fee, and a 1000 dollars for the lawyer. I payed as much as possible till I got him paid and then he did the paper work. Then you have to go to another place to face a judge or whtever. But it all works out. I had a bike in my name, a car, etc. They didnt take anything from me. All ways heard if you gona file go out and get whtever you want. My lawyers friend told her to get a new car and she would get to keep it. It was worth me getting it. This happend 5 yrs ago. There were so many people with debt at the place I went to they ask you how you got all this credit and cant pay it. Just tell them he signs the paper off and youre done. But once you file with the lawyer you dont have to pay no more credit cards from that day. You call them and tell them you are filing bankruptcy and they quit calling.. Good Luck!!!

  • Angel

    Looking for a bankruptcy attorney in MO….any suggestion? Maybe in KC?

  • Tom Hamel

    hey i got a solution ,just be poor to begin with , like me …
    i never had a car, cc, school debt or a morgtage… course i never even made more than 10.00 an hour and spen most of my life making min wage,
    but hey–life sucks then ya die

  • Aaron Hott

    I filed bankruptcy in 2003. I had about 10k credit card debt, along with school expenses. I was in a car accident and couldn’t work. I owned no assets coming from a poor family. Eventually I got back on my feet, moving from MI to CA following the American dream. Life happens and i somehow got 4 sleep disorders and Post traumatic stress disorder, which lead to seizures. That made me not be able to work or drive. I drained my bank account on insurances and hospital bills (around 22k, that i had saved). I had to move back East because the economy is crap right now. I couldn’t even get a simple job. Now i’m thinking about filing a 2nd time to clear this hospital and credit card debt. They had no sympathy for me, i sold everything i own. I just turned 34 so my savings over the past 7 years is gone, everything i liquidated and still owe money. I just got out of the mental hospital on top of those other medical conditions i’m now in serious depression. It seems that filing bankruptcy is my only sage route to possible sanity.

  • maria

    I reside in sc. I have decided to file bankrutcy. do anyone know of any good attornies, who are reasonable in fees?

  • Scott Mitchell

    Wanted to update this with a bit of info. My Chapter 7 bankruptcy was a $1500 fee to the attorney plus the $299 filing fee.

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  • keep your head up

    i have read everybody story. I just want to say that your situation will get better. I have not walk in your shoes, but I can agree with most of you. Sometimes life throw a curve ball at you when you are expecting the same old fastball. Learn from your past and instill new ways of doing things.This will only make you better so keep your your head. Stay strong, and trust God. I’m praying for everyone including myself. God Bless.!

  • Kathleen

    I have been trying to pay off Sears C.C for 10 years. I have been making payment of 25.00 on a 6,000.00 account. I work seasonal. A judgment is in the process filed by a company who bought the Sears charge off amount. I have been paying them 25.00 per month which we agreed on. Now they want all the money. I don’t have it. I don’t know what to do.
    I’m thinking of moving to Canada or Ireland.

  • Jean

    To all those talking about filing bankruptcy due to student loans:

    You cannot discharge your student loans!!!

  • Harry

    DONT BE AFRAID TO FILE BANKRUPTCY I filed chapter 7 a few years ago and it is the best thing i ever did.I kept my house and autos and all possesions,but it got rid of all the debt i had. Capital one is the main one that caused me to file they are the worst,they cant speak english but they sure as hell know how to hustle the american dollar.The only one that showed up at court was sears and they took back my fridge and a leaf blower last two things i purchased not near what i owed them.So dont feel bad if you have any credit left max it out then file,they have no feeling for you so dont have any for them.I tried to deal with all of them after i had an accident and was off work but they went wild worse than wild animals everyone wanted there money first to hell with the other guy,so dont try partial payments it just gets you deeper in debt.And i never had any trouble buying after .It got rid of all the midnight phone call and all the threats,and i have been doing great ever since always have had a little cash in pocket to have lunch when i want. SO DONT WAIT DO IT AND LIVE A CALMER LIFE. GOOD LUCK TO YOU

  • Harry


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  • thomas

    Filing is not a bad thing. I did it 8 yrs ago and felt a mountain lift off mt shoulders. I got a graet job in trucking making 60k a year. That was great after i was cleared. Sad to say when the economy went down hill so did the company i has work for 5 yrs. worked a couple more trucking jobs to be back off work again. Well with no work i going to file 2nd time which thought never had to again…. thanks wall street.. this time going to pay cash for everything… no debt means no problems.. maybe start a business after i get squarded away with home and transportation..

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  • Sharon

    In the last2 yrs., I have lost my job, lost my son of 36 yrs old to cancer, and lost my medical insurance. One yr ago on May 19th, I was involved in an auto accident. I blacked out behind the wheel coming home from Lowe’s. My car flipped 3 times, and hit a cement culvert. My neck was broken, 45 stitches in my mouth, and a severed L humurus. ICU for 9 days. My medical bills are out of site. I have to pay full price for meds now, cannot afford to see a doctor b/c I have to pay full fees for specialists, now in jeopardy of loosing part of my disability income b/c cannot afford to see my doctors often enough to satisfy them, I have made a few payday loans to help but only made matters far worse. I can’t sleep from worry, I can’t eat from stress…..filing BK seems to be the only way out.

  • DD

    I got sick 2 years ago and have had 4 strokes can’t work anymore and I have 2 great little kids 3 and 5 years old and a great husband that work so hard everyday but the bills don’t stop and just found out we r going to have another baby, so much for the pill!!! But now Idk what we r going to do chapter 7 seems the only way to free us from all the stress and money we don’t have.

  • Amanda

    I did bankruptcy about 7years ago. For the people who say can the judge turn you down. If you go with a lawyer , no lawyer is going to go with a case that will be turned down. It cost us about 1500. and creditors can show up to court to offer you a payment plan but my lawyer said to so no you don’t have to take it. One of our creditors showed up we said no, it took like 10 minutes it was not like a real court it was a room a tape recorder on guy and a few people waiting to be heard, it was more like a waiting room setting. It was not so bad.

  • rejoice

    I love it when I read some comments.
    If people have a decent job or even a job for that matter then people wouldn’t consider BK. BK should be the last hope file only if you are able to put everything you own on it.
    The only good the Bankruptcy serves is getting your creditors of your back, but then your credit suffers for a long 10 years which used to be 7 years, it will be very hard to get a company that will trust you to lend a loan and if you do get a company willing to take the risk and give you a second chance it will be with higher interest rate. In 1999 my husband at the time had to file a Bankruptcy I had to be part of too, after we got divorced in less than 2 years I bought my first house, the interest was 9% for me and it was the only bank willing to grant me a credit.. My car loan was also very high almost 18%. After 2 years I had an option to refinance but instead I sold it and made 19,000 profit. For everyone reading this it is very hard to keep up, and maintain a perfect credit one must be knowledgeable because it is not just not paying your bills on time that will prevent us to have a perfect credit scores. For instance in Jun I had credit score of dropped to 568 by this time I never made a single late payment its all because I used two of my credit card to it’s maximum allowance, now I must pay it to at least 70% before the scores can start to go up. I have 3000.000 debt if worse should come my way no judge can turn me down. If you have no other choice then file for BK it will not be end of the world it is just things in life, not your life and so long you have a breath you can overcome anything. I did you can too.
    be blessed.

  • http://debtkid bigjor

    going threw a divorce now,we are upside down with are house by $70,000.00 on are house, plus I have not made a payment on are van in 6 months. Plus I have $10,000.00 in medical bills. I can’t work due to accident I get Disability and she makes $70,000.00 plus and she has a 40lK plan that has a lot of money in it, if I would file for Bankruptcy could I still get her 401k plan instead of it going towards the house? she never like this house until this divorce started now she wants it. Can somebody help me here with this?

  • Patrick

    My question is,after filing BK,how long does it take to buy a house ?

  • spike

    dont worry too much about BK. its part of life. Even Donald Trump filed BK…………..

  • monte parker

    i am unable to work due to a medical reason just filed for social security

  • Arzelia Griffin

    I am seriously considering bankruptcy. I have student loans, as well as money owed to banks, personal cash advance loans, credit unions, etc.

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