The question of how you can afford your bankruptcy attorney when you're broke is a very good one and one I hear a lot. You can make as many payments as you like. Paying an attorney, at least with our law firm, it's like lay away. The initial payment is $200, beyond that you can pay $50 here and there, we don't charge interest.

You can make small payments up until the point where you've accumulated your retainer amount and filing fees.

Also, a lot of people are still paying some bills like credit cards and medical bills, or they're still working out some kind of debt reorganization plan. A lot of times, when you are choosing to file for bankruptcy, you stop paying those other bills. And therefore, that frees up some money for you and you just pay your attorney and file for bankruptcy.

Other folks get money from relatives and friends, and it's ok to borrow money to file for bankruptcy. It's just not ok to pay them back prior to filing, you can pay them back later if you want. But at that point, after you file for bankruptcy, paying a loan to a friend or relative is more like a gift; it's not really a loan at that point, because bankruptcy wipes out your obligation to pay.

A lot of people also use their tax refund money. The bankruptcy court is going to be asking if you're going to file for bankruptcy and what's going to happen to your refund, since that's some money they can take from you. So if you spend it before you file for bankruptcy on car repair or your rent, or you paid your bankruptcy lawyer with it, that's also how people do it. So, they either:

  • Get the money from somebody else
  • Get a tax refund
  • Make small progress payments with no interest

While they're doing that, my office will provide some protection from collection calls and collection activity. Once they hire us even for a $200 minimum, that goes toward the total price. What we do is take the collection calls from our clients so when they get called they can say "hey, call Leonard Sominsky, it's 256-9800" and that takes them off of your back.

That's how people finance and typically pay for bankruptcy!

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