Living BK -- a look at life after bankruptcy 7
#7 Paying for the BK
The bankruptcy process, as with many things in life, is not without its irony. You declare bankruptcy because you don’t have money to pay your debts and yet, to declare bankruptcy, you need to incur more debt – the payment of legal services.
Though it is possible to attempt to file on ones own behalf, but why? This is an emotional and, let’s face it, precarious situation. This is not a process that has a “no harm, no foul” learning curve. Just think, to work out the plan, you have to negotiate with your creditors. How far has that gotten you without a bankruptcy declaration? Are they going to be more inclined to talk with you when they know you’re representing yourself in a BK proceeding? Try more inclined to have you for lunch.
Nope, filing BK is something best left for the professionals. And professionals are worthy of their pay. Fortunately, the pay is something that is set by statute and not a point of negotiation. The Bankruptcy Court sets the payment guidelines for filing services, so you, as the filer, have some protection.
But you still have to pay. And, to do that, you’re probably going to have to incur more credit card debt which, in turn, is added to the overall pile of debt that gets negotiated and split into 60 payments.
Bottom line, accept the fact that everyone filing BK pays the same amount. There are no deals. When interviewing for representation, choose someone that makes you feel comfortable and confident that your best interests will be their top concern. And choose someone you like. You’re going to be involved with them for 5 years. Might as well make it a pleasant experience. Who knows, you might even make a new friend….