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How Do I File Chapter 7 if I'm Unemployed?

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  • How Do I File Chapter 7 if I'm Unemployed?

    I need to file Chapter 7 in order to stop a foreclosure and to get free of some medical debts, etc., but I am unemployed and don't have the $800 or so I'll need to hire a lawyer to file the papers for me. Is there any hope that a lawyer will do this on a pro bono basis, or for delayed or deferred payment?


  • #2
    You can not do “delayed” payment, cause he would be considered a creditor, and his charges would be discharged as well. You can file yourself, but you have to be very careful. I have read on other sites, where people filed themselves and I guess you can get help from the court?? I don’t know?
    Otherwise with the new bill change, lawyers are going to start charging more that ever now!!! I don’t know if anyone will do it for free. Call your local charity office and see about the lawyers who represent people who get public assistance? Maybe they can refer you.
    Good luck!!



    • #3
      Thanks. I'm thinking maybe a lawyer who works for a legal aide society of some type, the ones who handle pro bono cases, can do it for me. Of course, I'll still need the $200 filing fee that the state charges. I can handle that, but not $800.



      • #4

        If you feel comfortable in giving it a try, you can get the software to file from and a copy of Nolo's Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Book from their site, That's how I'm doing mine. So far, so good.



        • #5
          Thanks, Ronnie. I went to bed making a mental note to look for something about filing it myself. You've saved me a few Google searches.

          P.S.: It sure says something about the times we live in when there is even software for filing bankruptcy.

          Last edited by GaryR53; 10-03-2005, 09:28 AM.


          • #6
            Filing will stop the foreclosure, but if you're not current on your mortgage by your 341, you'll lose the house anyway eventually. I'm guessing if you can't come up with $800 for a lawyer, you probably won't be able to come up with the back mortgage payments.


            • #7
              I have also heard the lawyer fees for representation under the new law are off the chart. It could be because of the virtual unknown factor - that is they dont know how complicated cases are going to get until the law has been in effect for a period of time. You absolutely have to pay the filing fee upfront no matter what and if you can get a legal services office to help they better move quickly..if possible. The new law takes effect October 17. In Tennessee where I live, it is impossible to even get a lawyer to talk to you about BK much less represent you. It is the virtual 11th hour so you need to be quick and persistent. I am sure you have read and heard the advice of people on this forum and others and that is to avoid filing under the new law no matter what.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Lightning
                Filing will stop the foreclosure, but if you're not current on your mortgage by your 341, you'll lose the house anyway eventually. I'm guessing if you can't come up with $800 for a lawyer, you probably won't be able to come up with the back mortgage payments.
                You've guessed correctly, Lightning. I did some checking around and found that, due to the fact that I don't currently have an income, plus the fact that I've been unemployed four times this year already, including now, I can't even qualify for filing under Chapter 13. That leaves only Chapter 7 as an option and I'm not sure it makes much sense for me. It won't stop me from losing my home, but it will give me relief from my medical bills and possibly from the eductaional loan I have from a private lender (NOT a government guaranteed student loan), but that's about it. I will lose my home and stand to possibly lose my car, as well, even though it's paid for. According to Oklahoma law, I'm protected from that up to a value of $7,500, but my car is valued between $5,000 and $9,000, depending upon condition and who you ask, depending upon what criteria they use to appraise it's value, I could lose my car, too. If I do nothing and don't file for bankruptcy at all, no one can take my car, at least.

                Meanwhile, I still owe the IRS for 2004 taxes and I can't pay that, either. According to what I've read, neither a Chapter 13 or a Chapter 7 bankruptcy would protect me from the IRS debt.

                So, I'm beginning to wonder if bankruptcy is right for my situation at all. I can qualify for Chapter 7, but not Chapter 13, yet Chapter 7 doesn't protect me from losing my home and may put my car at risk of seizure, as well. So, in either case, I really don't benefit enough to make it worth the expense, the effort and the destruction of my ability to ever be a homeowner again.

                Last edited by GaryR53; 10-03-2005, 11:48 AM.


                • #9
                  If losing your home is inevitable, do you have enough equity to sell it? If you could make a little extra money on it, you could pay your arrears balance and have a little to get set up in a rental until you can find another job. Just a thought.
                  Amy M.
                  NW Washington

                  10/16/05 - Filed Chapter 7

                  11/14/05 - 341 Meeting - DONE!!!

                  1/6/06 - Discharged!!!


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