What can I do if I cannot afford to file for bankrupcty?

UPDATED: Jul 28, 2011

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What can I do if I cannot afford to file for bankrupcty?

I am a college graduate; I had a business for 10 years. Then 3 years ago I lost my company due to the economy. My home was foreclosed on, I had to go on food stamps, I lived in a tent for a few months and ended up selling all my stuff. About 7 months ago I found a sales job, commission only. I have spoken with bankruptcy attorneys but they all want $2,500-10,000 to help me file. I’ve only made $5,000 since I started working. I was just notified that one of my credit card issuers has filed a lawsuit against me. I have to be in court in 3 weeks. What do I do? I barely have enough to feed my family and keep a roof over my head. Not to mention that I am interviewing with the federal government and scared to death they are going to see my credit score and not ever hire me.

Asked on July 28, 2011 Arizona


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Due to your financial situation, speak with Legal Aid and see if the office in your area is accepting bankruptcy cases. Also, check to see if there are any law schools in your area; typically they run free/low cost legal clinics that handle these type cases. Additionally, contact the bar association in your county/city; many times attorney will take certain cases pro bono (i.e. for free) or low cost depending on your income. Finally, since you are a college graduate and were a business owner for a decade, you may be able to file yourself; you may even qualify for a waiver of the filing fees.

Here is a link to a site that you may find to be help: http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy.aspx

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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