The number of people who file for bankruptcy in Tennessee and throughout the country tends to increase in March and April. Reportedly, this is because those who have thought about bankruptcy finally have the money they need to hire an attorney. While it is possible to file on a pro se basis, individuals who have legal representation generally obtain a better result in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

When debts are discharged, it may give a person a clearer path to a higher income as well as a higher credit score. If a person is unable to afford an attorney, they could fall victim to petition preparers who may not be able to meet a debtor’s needs.

In some cases, low-income filers will work with attorneys who offer to help them file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy with nothing down. However, filing for Chapter 13 protection means making payments on debts over three or five years. It also means paying fees of up to $4,000 or more while the case progresses. Those who cannot keep up with the payments have their cases dismissed and are once again liable for their debts. One solution could be to allow people to pay Chapter 7 fees over time, which may make it easier to file.

By filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it may be possible to have a variety of debts wiped out entirely. This might lead to more disposable income, making it easier to pay off any debts that remain such as unpaid taxes or student loans. Anyone who is thinking about filing may benefit by talking with an attorney to learn more about the process and the potential debt relief.