One problem some people face when they are struggling financially is the inability to even afford a bankruptcy. Bankruptcies are not inexpensive, and when people are behind on their bills, it can be hard enough to make ends meet without having to save for a bankruptcy.
To help with this, a student from Harvard has tackled the problem by creating a nonprofit organization. This organization, Upsolve, aims to reduce costs by limiting the amount of time people need to spend with attorneys. However, not all states approve of these services. Even by self-filing, it's advised to have an attorney go over your documents to make sure they're accurate for court. If you fail to declare all your assets, you could face penalties in court.
While this program could help people without access to attorneys, one thing you should know is that your attorney can help you reduce the cost of your bankruptcy or even have the cost spread out over time, so you can get started with professional help on your side. Many people don't have time to go through a bankruptcy alone, and working with an attorney gives you the peace of mind of knowing that you are completing all your documents in a timely fashion.
A normal Chapter 7 bankruptcy costs around $1,300 to file. However, you can normally pay this in installments if the courts agree to allow that. Your attorney can talk to you about the legal options open to you. It may not be as unaffordable as you believe to have the representation you want for your case.
Source: Forbes, "Too Broke To Go Bankrupt? Harvard Student Uses Software To Tackle Problem For Poor," Daniel Fisher, March 02, 2017