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Costs hold back many from filing for bankruptcy

When people in Michigan struggle with overwhelming debt that seems impossible to repay, there may be only one way forward to help protect their financial future: bankruptcy. However, for many, the costs associated with filing for bankruptcy can make this option difficult to access. As many people who file for bankruptcy are dealing with an extremely tight financial situation, the potential costs can seem insurmountable.

For this reason, annual bankruptcy filings tend to peak in March and April before declining. As tax refunds come in, many people struggling with debt use their refunds to hire a bankruptcy lawyer and get started on the process of seeking debt relief. Hiring an attorney makes a major difference in the success of bankruptcy petitions; when people file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with an attorney, their petitions for debt relief are almost always accepted. However, people who try to deal with the complicated issues of bankruptcy court on their own often struggle, making mistakes or failing to complete the necessary steps to erase their debts.

There are also non-lawyers that market their services to help people prepare bankruptcy filings. However, these unregulated providers often make mistakes or encourage unlawful filings that put their clients’ petitions at even greater risk than if they had gone solo. There are a number of different ways that attorneys can handle fee payments for bankruptcy filings, including installment plans for Chapter 13 bankruptcy or up-front payment for Chapter 7 filings.

Every year, around 800,000 to 1.5 million people across the United States file for bankruptcy, but many more could potentially benefit from the protections it provides. People who are dealing with debt and aren’t sure of how to get out of the situation or the costs of a filing can speak with a bankruptcy lawyer. An attorney may be able to provide representation and a successful path through the bankruptcy process.