By To Broke to BK :( from Los Angeles, CA
Run your credit report, find out everything you owe.
Call your local court house and see if they have what is called "motion of slow pay" Find out what you have to do and how much the court fee is.
I did this with a credit card bill. I had to fill out a form and provide evidence of everything I pay out each month and how much income I have coming in. And how much I could afford to pay.
I was being hounded for about $2,500 from the credit card lawyers, now I pay $20 a month, and they have no choice. I don't know if you would have to do a "motion of slow pay" on each bill or even if you can, but it's worth a try. Good luck!
I was also going to say check with legal aid. If you can't get legal aid then try to find the least expensive bankruptcy lawyer you can and make payments to them (get a contract and receipts) until their fee is paid in full and they will then immediately file the claim for you. In the meantime of you paying, most will ask you all the information they need, do investigations and get the papers ready in anticipation of filing. I had to do that once a couple of decades ago and, although it sucked to have to make payments and wait for filing, it was a relief in the end!
And you are so wise to not do your bankruptcy yourself because bankruptcy laws change fast and furiously!
All states have a legal aid society for low income who can't afford a lawyer. I just used one in Ohio. I googled Legal Aid Society of Los Angeles and they have one. It is www.lafla.org. They should be able to help you. God bless.
From what I have ever heard, the fee that lawyers charge for bankruptcy is because they do an extensive search to find all of your past due accounts, not just the ones that you can remember. I have never heard of anybody doing their own bankruptcy. Check with other attorneys and see if they have lower fees. If you owe on a home mortage, maybe you would be better off letting that be foreclosed, and moving into a very low rent apartment or sleeping room. If you are making payments on a car let that go back. If you don't have major monthly payments you might can live better on what income you have. Also apply for food stamps and housing assistance. Most places there is a waiting list to get on housing assistance. The housing assistance helps a person pay for rent.
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