Hi,

Unfortunately, I'm coming to the conclusion that I have to file for bankruptcy. I'm wondering if I have any other option. Is it really the best thing?

The lawyer I consulted costs $2800 to file BK. How do I find a less expensive lawyer, and how will I get the money to pay him/her?

My debt is just about the amount of my yearly income ($32,000). I have a retirement account with about $10,000. No other assets. Should use the money from my retirement account to pay off some of the debt? Creditors are offering me deals of 20-50% off the total balance if I settle with them. (2 of my 4 credit cards are in default).

I'm concerned that BK will mean I can't get another apt if I want to move; or buy a condo sometime.I live with a housemate because I live in an expensive city and can't afford to live alone, though I'd like to.

I'm single, rent, self-employed. I owe 2 years of back taxes which I'm paying. I owe two friends a couple of thousand dollars. This all feels horrible. I have a chronic illness that keeps me from getting a job outside the home.

Thanks.

I am writing this to say, you are not alone; I know the idea of staying positive is difficult. I am in the same position as you, but truly believe nothing just happens. I am trying to hold on to see what is on the other side of this challenge. Whatever does not kill you will make you stronger, right?

Although, I have not filed, have contemplated the possibility just to stop the madness and move forward.

Have you contacted a credit-counseling agency to see if they can set you up on a debt reduction plan? Have you cut your expenses as much as possible? Try to think of ways to create new business for yourself, such as outsourcing your services to businesses. [typing, data entry, etc]

If BK seems the only alternative interview several attorneys, consider those in a neighboring town. I am told bankruptcy is not the end of the road and that many are able to purchase homes after two years of on time payments.

You are a valuable person with much to offer the world; this is only a temporary situation. I stand with you in suffering but have not given up and continue to search for alternatives.

I am at the end of my rope. The lawyer I consulted wanted $1200, and I thought that was bad. Today, I will talk to National Debt Relief. If anyone has any advice, I could sure use it. I am not into debt as bad as most but all my credit cards and unsecured loans are maxed out and cannot pay them as well as student loans. So I am doomed. I hope I don't lose my car thru consolidation. HELP!

The lawyer told me I should have gone bankrupt last year before they changed the law. He was a real *ss, so arrogant with his feet up on his desk while he was talking to me. But the consultation was free and I got a LOT of info from him. So, he will get nothing from me. I'll find another lawyer if I choose that route.

Question about prior bankruptcy?

I had a bankruptcy discharged in 1999. There was a debt I didn't know I had when the bankruptcy was filed. It was never listed on the bankruptcy and was never discharged. It shows as a judgement at the county court house on my credit report but never went to court because of the bankruptcy. It is still on file at the court house but there has never been a hearing or processing other than filing for a hearing.

What do I need to do to have it removed or deal with it?

Go back to the court house and have them add it to your bankruptcy file this can be done . We were discharged 3 years ago and found we had 2 claims we did not put on you can have the backdated to the date you filed if you can prove you had the debt prior to your filing .

Hope this helps

I don't know much about filing for bankruptcy. I had a friend once who had filed twice, once as a Chapter 7 and once as a Chapter 13. I don't really know much about them, one is more of a repayment type plan and the other cancels out all debts. I don't know if you lose everything or not.

Here are some web sites may be useful:
1 - NACBA.org "NACBA is the only national organization dedicated to serving the needs of consumer bankruptcy attorneys and protecting the rights of consumer debtors in bankruptcy."

They have lists of lawyers' names in all the states, I found 67 in my state. From what I can tell by their web site, they seem to be committed to consumer advocacy.

2 - I got a ton of info here: http://credit.about.com/ re- what is bk, scams to avoid, debt collectors, legal and illegal practices, how to find an attorney, more.

3 - https://www.ftc.gov/ The web site for the Federal Trade Commission, supposedly to protect consumers, but since it is a government agency, I am skeptical. Just my opinion.

Do not pay $2800 to a lawyer! Even tho the cost of filing has gone up since the bill passed by George Bush last year much to the delight of creditors everywhere, everything I read indicates bankruptcy filing should cost $500 up to $2000, depending on the case.

Also if you read the websites I mention, you will find tips for finding an attorney who will be on the lower end of the cost. I am eligible for legal aid because my income is practically non- existent. Even tho you make $32,000, not a lot of money, I don't know if you are eligible, but you can search under Legal Services in your state.

I'm in the position that I think I have no alternative but to commit bankruptcy, I have an appointment with a lawyer tomorrow. [Like most people, I tried to pretend the whole problem didn't exist, didn't take action until I got a legal summons. ARG] Again, everything I read - and I read a lot - says do bankruptcy ONLY if it is the last resort. You sound like a young person, and it can have long term effects, that you may not be aware of.

It's hard to study all this info, but you must in order to protect yourself. Personally I would not depend only on a lawyer, I would try to arm myself with info.

Also - and the about.com site deals with this - ***there are a lot of people trying to take advantage of people in our situation** so beware.

Feel free to mail me off-list or on, we can compare notes.

If you try for legal aid be on your guard. My ex used this group in our state when he filed for divorce. Because of that they won't do anything for me because it might be a conflict of interest. To get a lawyer I have to put up a deposit. My monthly income is between $550 and 600 so I can't afford to hire a lawyer. But the ex, who makes at least $10k more can use legal aid all he likes.

Thanks for that info. I don't know what it means, but I looked up my state and three of the very best attorneys around here aren't members. Possibly the members are those who are new to the field and are looking for more business. Those who are at the top of well established firms don't need to belong to such groups.