BANKRUPT LAWYERS FEES STILL RISING IN CHAPTER 7, SO DEBTORS’ ONLY REALISTIC OPTION TO AFFORD FILING BANKRUPTCY TODAY MAY BE TO USE A PETITION PREPARER
The legal costs to prepare bankrupt petition, particularly using lawyers to do it, have continued to rise and rise since the U.S. Congress overhauled U.S. bankruptcy laws in 2005. These lawyers costs for bankruptcy have now progressively risen to the point where they have become simply too expensive for the American consumer filing for personal bankruptcy, according to several reports and studies made by the government and independent researchers. Indeed, so expensive that for a growing number of debtors, the lawyers fees for bankruptcy are PROHIBITIVELY expensive – that is, they are so high that, although those debtors fully qualify for and wish to file for bankruptcy protection, they are unable to file since they simply cannot afford it.
For starters, a report issued in July 2008 by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), said bankrupt lawyers’ fees for individuals who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy court protection, increased by 51% since the new law, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act or BAPCP, took effect in October 2005. By that report’s calculations, as of that time of that report, attorneys’ fees for bankruptcy had risen by slightly more than 50 percent of its previous pre-2005 law costs.
According to the said GAO report, since this new law, the average bankrupt lawyer’s fee for a Chapter 7 case – the simplest type of bankruptcy which involves the debtor’s assets, if at all he has any, being liquidated and his debts being wiped clean – climbed to $1,078 in February and March of 2007, as compared with $712 for the same period in 2005. For Chapter 13 type of bankruptcies – which is the type of bankruptcy which allows the debtor to develop a court-approved Repayment plan to repay the creditors – the attorney’s median fee for handling it rose to $3,000 in February 2008, from $2,000 just before the law was passed.
•So, what’s the bankruptcy filer’s option when you simply can’t afford the bankruptcy lawyer’s fees? Is it to prepare the bankrupt petition? To file without a lawyer? Or is it to file using a non-attorney expert such as a Petition Preparer Bankrupt?
According to many experts, such increased and heavier lawyers fees for bankruptcy, has created a significant hurdle for financially strapped individuals to be able to file for bankruptcy, or, even more importantly, for such debtors to be able to avail themselves of their Constitutional right to seek the bankruptcy protection guaranteed them as Americans under Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution mandating Congress “to establish uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States” for all qualified citizens.
“That [the increased legal costs] is a significant amount of money for the average American family, let alone a family on the verge of bankruptcy,” said University of Illinois law professor Robert Lawless. “It’s very possible to be too poor to be in bankruptcy because you can’t afford the filing.”
In effect, what it means is that practically the only thing that the 2005 “reform” bankruptcy law seem to have accomplished, is that it has made the bankruptcy lawyers richer.
It has, on the other hand, woefully failed in the task of attaining the primary mission for which it had ostensibly been enacted – namely, to curtail the rate of filing bankruptcy among the American consumers. As we speak today, Americans are experiencing a remarkable rate of one bankruptcy case being filed every 20 seconds, with well over 2 million Americans involved in the filing of bankruptcy in the 2008 fiscal year. Nationally, this represents a 20% increase over the already high levels in 2009. In Arizona, the increase was an astounding 52%. The Central District of California (Los Angeles) wasn’t far behind with an incredible increase of 48.2%
THE LOW COST ALTERNATIVES TO COSTLY BANKRUPTCY LAWYERS WHICH DEBTORS CAN WELL AFFORD
So, how do you file affordable personal bankruptcy? And how do you avoid high bankrupt lawyers fees?
Fortunately for debtors, believe it or not, there are some one or two real good alternatives available for debtors which they can use to file for bankruptcy and get their bankruptcy protection alright – just as good as the average debtor would get who uses the expensive services of a lawyer. But, this time, at very low-cost and far less expensive cost that virtually every debtor can afford. And, believe it or not, it is an option that is specifically provided you by law under do U.S. bankruptcy Code.
And what is that?
Put simply, it is the option provided by the Bankruptcy Code itself. In a nutshell, the Code [specifically at Section 527(b) Of The Bankruptcy Code] provides the debtor THREE legitimate sources by which he/she can get assistance in the filing of his/her bankruptcy:
1) basically, the debtor may study up on how to do it and do the bankruptcy work himself; or,
2) the debtor may hire a bankruptcy lawyer to do it for him; or,
thirdly,) the debtor may hire a Federal government-approved person or agency known as a Bankruptcy Petition Preparer, meaning a competent or trained person or agency who is not an attorney but is expert at doing the bankruptcy papers, to do it for you. This expert’s specialty is basically to prepare bankrupt petition and avoid or dramatically cut down on high bankrupt lawyers fees!
Now, we’ll just assume that you do not want to or just don’t have the knowledge or confidence to do the bankruptcy work yourself.
FACT: As is crystal clear to all from the facts that are earlier set forth above, a large and still growing number of eligible debtors who wish to file for bankruptcy and are qualified, simply can’t afford the bankruptcy lawyer or their high fees, and for such persons their only realistic “choice” otherwise is to go without the Constitutional right to protection of bankruptcy. And, given that reality, there seems to be ONLY one realistic choice left for the debtor who is serious about filing bankruptcy to adopt – selecting and hiring a competent and reliable Federal government-approved person or agency, known as a Bankruptcy Petition Preparer (also called Debt Relief Agency or Agent), to do it for you.
A Bankruptcy Petition Preparer (assuming, at least, the one you select is a good and competent one among them) is an experienced or trained person or agency who is not an attorney, but who is expert at doing the bankruptcy papers and also knows intimately the different procedures involved in the filing and processing of bankruptcy cases. They charge at a mere fraction of what it would cost you using an attorney (since they don’t charge, as bankruptcy attorneys do, “attorney rates” based on “per hour” billing. Compared to the lawyer’s average fee of $150 to $2,500 today for a simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the average charge by the Bankruptcy Petition Preparer (the better ones among them) for the paperwork for the same Chapter 7, ranges anywhere from $190 to $250 – whopping a cost ratio of 1 to 10, or 1 to 15.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Do you, perhaps, fall among those growing number of debtors in America today who just can’t afford filing for bankruptcy simply because you can’t afford the bankrupt lawyer’s fees? Then, realistically, you really have just one option left for you – hiring a legally approved Petition Preparer Bankrupt or Debt Relief Agent, which is a position approved by Congress under the bankruptcy law, and letting him or her assist you in doing the bankruptcy papers and filing them at a far lower cost rate that you can usually afford
POINTER: But the KEY is, you MUST be sure to hire a good, competent, proven and reliable one that can properly get the job done for you!
NEED MORE INFORMATION?
For more information on how to end the “too broke to even declare bankruptcy” problem by using a good Federally-approved Debt Relief Agency or Bankruptcy Document/Petition Preparer to do a successful bankruptcy for you at an incredibly low cost that you can well afford, or how, especially, to be sure to use a good, competent, proven company that you can well rely on to properly get the job done for you, please visit this site: http://www.afford-bankruptcy.com