Are you facing severe financial distress? You’re not alone!
From 2005 to 2017, nearly 13 million Americans filed for bankruptcy. There’s no doubt that bankruptcy is associated with a variety of emotional consequences. That said, it may be a necessary decision for you and your family to get back on track.
While it may seem counterintuitive, even bankruptcy requires money. Are you wondering how much does it cost to file bankruptcy? We have your answers.
Let’s get to them!
Understanding How Bankruptcy Works
Bankruptcy provides a viable solution for individuals struggling with unpaid debt. These debts may range from medical bills too high credit card balances to other issues related to unemployment or divorce.
That said, you should consider bankruptcy only as a last resort. While it provides financial relief, it isn’t a quick fix — individuals who file bankruptcy face a tremendous credit hit.
For several years, creditors will deem you as high-risk. This high-risk status will make it highly challenging (if not impossible) to secure new lines of credit. Thus, you may be stuck with credit cards or loans reserved for applicants with poor credit (which often results in higher interest fees).
Chapter 7 bankruptcies remain on a credit report for ten years. Additionally, they show up on all credit pulls and background checks. Chapter 13 bankruptcies last for seven years after the bankruptcy has cleared.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
This is the most common type of personal bankruptcy. Chapter 7 relieves individuals of most types of unsecured personal debts including:
- personal loans
- credit card charges and debts
- medical bills
- past lease agreements or utility bills
- various legal and attorney fees
Chapter 7 bankruptcy entails collective filing fees and attorney fees. Your lawyer will help assist you in navigating the legal issues throughout this process.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 does not entail debt liquidation. Instead, this type of bankruptcy intends supports individuals with a steady income to develop a reasonable plan to repay their debts.
Some people may need to file for this bankruptcy if they do not qualify for Chapter 7. Others opt for Chapter 13, as it allows them to retain important assets (like their home).
Repayment plans vary depending on the individual’s financial situation, but most individuals follow a 3-5 year plan. They cannot currently exceed over five years.
How Much Does It Cost To File Bankruptcy?
When filing bankruptcy, you’ll be faced with two, major expenses: your attorney fees and your court filing fees. The attorney helps with filing your petition and also represents you in court.
While attorney fees vary on the firm and your location, filing fees cost the same nationwide. For Chapter 7, they are $335, and for Chapter 13, they are $310. Attorney fees can range between a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
Paying For Bankruptcy
If you’re filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the thought of paying for an attorney may seem both impossible and laughable. However, there are a few options to consider.
Negotiating a Payment Plan
Some attorneys will collaborate with their clients to design a reasonable payment plan. Of course, these plans vary depending on the attorney and your individual financial situation.
Some attorneys allow monthly payments spread over several months. However, most will want the full payments completed before the case is filed. That’s because you won’t be required to pay the attorney once the bankruptcy clears.
Of course, you can raise funds to pay for your bankruptcy. This strategy requires some hard work and creativity, but it’s the best choice for taking care of matters quickly and efficiently.
Try and earn additional income. Take on a part-time side hustle and consider selling used items. Do whatever you can to secure the funds.
Free or Discounted Help
In extreme cases, some people will benefit for free or subsidized legal support. This is typically reserved for individuals earning an income of less than 150% of the current poverty line. Some attorneys provide pro bono (free) legal services to help this population.
Finding An Attorney
Securing a competent attorney is one of the most essential steps in providing peace of mind for your current situation. That said, it isn’t always easy to parse out the excellent professionals from the masses.
Start by making sure that your attorney has the appropriate experience and practice areas. After all, if you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you want someone who specializes in bankruptcy law.
You may want to consider starting by obtaining referrals from friends and family. Go online and check local directories and read through online reviews.
You should then explore each attorney’s website. You want someone that provides information about bankruptcy, and you want to learn more about the professionals working for the firm.
Make an appointment with the potential candidates. Many attorneys offer free consultations. Even if you don’t live close to the firm, you may be able to arrange a phone or virtual meeting.
During the initial appointment, ask questions! What kind of pricing should you expect? Is it hourly or flat-rate? Do they have any statistics about their success rates?
Finally, what is their current availability? Who will be your point of contact assisting you throughout your case? What kind of timeline should you expect?
How much does it cost to file bankruptcy? As you can see, it depends on several variables ranging from the type of bankruptcy filing to differing attorney fees.
At Kinnard & Scott, we specialize in providing superior legal support. Whether you’re interested in learning more information about bankruptcy or you’re ready to file, we have you covered. Contact us today for a consultation.
Nearly 90 percent of Americans over the age of 16 have a driver’s license.
Yet, every year, thousands of drivers in the U.S. take to the roads without a valid license. Their reasons for driving illegally are varied.
Some simply forgot to renew their license while others have had their license revoked as a result of accidents or other incidents. Then there are those that have never had a license in the first place.
No matter the reason, realizing that you’re about to get pulled over or causing an accident on the road and knowing that you don’t have a valid drivers license is never a good experience.
If you have been caught driving without a license in Indiana, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the consequences and what you can do about them.
Driving with an Expired License or Without License in Possession
It could happen to anyone. You forget that your license has expired until the officer asks for you to hand it to them. Or you realize that you left your entire wallet, and with it, your driver’s license, at home just as soon as those blue lights start flashing in your rearview mirror.
If you are caught driving with an expired license or if you have a valid license but it is not in your possession, you will face fines of up to $500.
However, if you can present a valid driver’s license at the police station within the city or county where you were charged within 5 days, you can get these fines and the charges dropped. This way, nothing will appear on your record.
Driving with License Suspended in Indiana
Drivers can get their license suspended for a number of different reasons. There are actually two different types of suspended driver’s licenses.
Definite License Suspension
With a definite suspension, your license is suspended for a set amount of time. After that time period is up, you must then pay your suspension termination fee, and then you will be able to earn your license.
If you fail to do any of these things, or if you receive another criminal charge while your license is under a definite suspension, your suspension may be extended. It may also become an indefinite suspension.
There are several incidents that can lead to a definite license suspension.
You could get arrested for DUI or OWI. You could get caught driving without liability insurance, or cause an accident and get caught for not having this insurance.
Even receiving too many traffic tickets, including speeding tickets, reckless operation tickets, running red lights, and more can lead to definite license suspension.
Indefinite License Suspension
With an indefinite suspension, your license is suspended until you complete an assigned action. This action could be anything from paying traffic tickets to completing a state-mandated course.
Once you have completed your assigned action, you receive your license back right away. There is no set length of suspension as there is with a definite suspension.
In some states, including Indiana, if a person has not paid child support, the courts may suspend their license. In this case, it is an indefinite suspension. When the child support is paid, the license suspension will then be dropped.
A license may also receive an indefinite suspension if the holder suffers from a medical condition that renders them unfit to drive. If the medical condition is cured or otherwise managed so that the person may safely drive again, the suspension may be lifted.
Unlike a definite or indefinite suspension, if a license has been revoked, it cannot be reinstated.
A license may be revoked after a driver is charged with a DUI, vehicular homicide, or even too many traffic violations.
The only way that a person with a revoked license can obtain a license again is if they apply for approval through the state’s DMV, pay any necessary penalties, and take their driver’s test all over again. Depending on the original offense, the state DMV may not approve the driver’s application for a new license.
Getting Caught Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License
Getting caught driving with a suspended or revoked license is far more serious than getting caught with an expired drivers license.
Your punishment will depend on the reasons why your license was suspended, to begin with.
If your license was suspended following a DUI, you will face up to one year in jail and fines up to $5,000. If your license was under and an indefinite suspension for failure to pay traffic tickets or child support, you will face a fine of up to $10,000. If this is your second offense, you may also face jail time.
If you cause an accident while driving with a suspended or revoked license, and someone is injured, you will be charged with a class 5 or 6 felonies and will face jail time and hefty fines.
The DMV may also choose to extend your suspension.
What Happens if You Have Never Had a License
If you have never had a driver’s license and are caught or cause an accident, you may be charged with a class C misdemeanor.
This means that you could face up to 60 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500.
However, if you are caught driving without a license again, the punishments become much more severe.
If you are caught a third time, you will be charged with a class A misdemeanor. This means that you could spend up to one year in jail, as well as fines of up to $5,000.
What Can You Do if You are Caught Driving Without a License
If you are caught driving without a license in the state of Indiana or anywhere else, you could be facing misdemeanor charges, fines, a longer suspension, and even jail time.
The best thing you can do is to make sure that you are never driving without a license.
But if you have already been caught and charged, there may still be hope. Contact us today to see what course of action we can take against your charges.