Filing for bankruptcy can sometimes be an expensive process. A common question asked by debtors is if they can file for a reduced cost or for free. Oftentimes, the simple answer is no. Still, depending on your financial situation, you may be able to avoid certain costs.
The main cost in filing for bankruptcy is the court fees. There are waivers available to bypass the filing costs, but unless you are extremely low income, you are very unlikely to get one. Court fees are just a cost that almost everyone must pay.
As part of the bankruptcy process, you will have to meet with a credit counseling agency. As part of this process, you may have to take classes, which will not be free. However, this cost can be avoided, depending on the agreement you have worked out between your agency and potentially your attorney. Still, the cost of classes is smaller than the cost of filing for bankruptcy, and the classes are worth the payment.
A key decision in filing for bankruptcy is whether you will hire an attorney to assist you through the process. Unless you have sufficient knowledge of the bankruptcy laws in your area, my recommendation is that you always hire an attorney. Although they are expensive, they may save you much more money in the long run through their knowledge of the law and by guiding you down the right path throughout your bankruptcy proceedings. It is better to spend money now and be sure that your bankruptcy filing will work out the best for your future rather than risking it and potentially harming yourself.
If nothing else, you can start with free services and work from there. There are free services that may help you decide whether bankruptcy is right for you, and all the additional information you have will be useful. Still, you will probably have to pay somewhere along the process, since the odds of having the fees for filing and classes waived is unlikely, and not hiring an attorney can be risky. Again, you may be better off paying now and having a secure future rather than risking it and making a mistake.
See also: Alternatives to Bankruptcy