FindLaw Answers Question of the Day: I Can't Afford Bankruptcy

By Brian Kumnick on June 16, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Time to put those Greedy smarts to use once again, and help a FindLaw Answers user approach a tricky legal question. This week, appropriately for the times, we feature a bankruptcy-related question.

One of the curious difficulties of initiating a bankruptcy petition is that it usually requires money. User jasontherock wants to file for bankruptcy, but has run into the money problem:

I have retained a bankruptcy attorney , but I have not yet paid them enough to start the process. I am on a payment basis and when I reach the required amount (in about a month) they will start the process.
Should we really be surprised to learn that a lot of people who want or need to file for bankruptcy find it difficult to pay an attorney to do that filing? Probably not. The problem for jasontherock is that, while he diligently saves up and pays his lawyers, the world marches on and his other creditors keep calling:
However, I received a summons to appear from one of the credit card companies that it filed with the county court. I have no money for an attorney.
So now, the heart of jasontherock's question: how does one respond?

Should I just ignore the summons because the debt is going to be canceled in the bankruptcy, and even if they get a default judgment against me I wont have to pay it because it will be discharged in the bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy lawyers, help us out. What can jasontherock do in this scenario? Ignore the suit and accept a default judgment? Go to court without a lawyer? Hope that the impending bankruptcy will wipe the slate clean? Head on over to this question thread at FindLaw Answers and chime in.

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