If you have so much debt that bankruptcy seems like it may be your only viable option, but you have so little money that you don't think that you could pay the filing fees, let alone hire a lawyer, you may be wondering if there is a solution for you.
Do You Have Judgment-Proof Status?
If you are judgment-proof, this means that you have certain financial disadvantages that can legally protect you from creditors. And while you may not wish to retain this status forever, you can claim it at least long enough to get back on your feet and regain some monetary ground. You may be judgment-proof if:
- You own very little and have no income.
- All of your income is from Social Security. Social Security payments are legally protected.
- A list of the property you own would only include clothing, household items and a car that is worth $2,000 or less.
Just be aware of the fact that even if you are legitimately judgment-proof, if your creditors still choose to sue you and get a court judgment, they may be able to collect from you if your circumstances improve in the next 10 years. On the other hand, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing would completely erase the debt.
Raising the Money You Need
Eliminate some luxury services. You can cancel your cable, downgrade your cell phone, and make eating out "off limits" for a least a little while. Or, you could sell some items that you don't really need. If you own a second car that you could really do without, any expensive artwork, or have jewelry that is just gathering dust, turn these items into cash that you can put towards your cause. And if all else fails, you can always try to get a loan from a friend or family member.
Services that May be Available to You
If you have no income, or your income is below a certain level, there may be beneficial services and programs available in your area.
- Discounted Initial Sessions: Even if you're only able to have these preliminary meetings with a lawyer, you will at least be able to get an idea about whether or not filing for bankruptcy is the right plan for you, and exactly what you need to do if you wish to proceed with the filing.
- A Local Legal-Aid Society: Check to see if such a service is offered in your city or town. If it is, and your income is at or below the acknowledged poverty level, you may qualify for free legal services.
Rebuilding Your Credit after Bankruptcy
If you have already been through a bankruptcy and you're in the process of re-establishing your credit profile, Auto Credit Express can help you to get an affordable auto loan. With this financing, you can both acquire reliable transportation, and begin the process of getting your credit back on track with one simple solution.
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