In most states, Legal Aid offers a wide range of legal support—including help with bankruptcy cases. Consumer issues like debt and bankruptcy are some of the most common reasons people seek out legal assistance in the first place.
In North Carolina and South Carolina, there are legal organizations that handle bankruptcy cases for people leaving near the poverty line. In cases where you need the guidance of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, the team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC is ready to help you.
Legal Aid Can Help With Bankruptcy Cases
It is common for state Legal Aid programs to provide legal help or guidance on consumer-related issues. For some organizations, this includes handling bankruptcy cases.
Every state has its own Legal Aid organization, with many cities or regions also offering their own free legal services. In each of these cases, the eligibility requirements and the area of law they cover can be different.
Getting Help With a Bankruptcy Case in North Carolina
If you currently live in North Carolina, you might be able to get help with your bankruptcy case. Legal Aid of North Carolina handles a wide range of cases, from employment law to consumer protection.
For most people, access to help from Legal Aid of North Carolina is based on their financial means. The organization has a limited budget and relies on the help of volunteer lawyers in many cases. While that can mean not everyone will qualify, the organization guarantees that they will assist with civil legal matters for anyone over the age of 60.
If Legal Aid agrees to take a bankruptcy case, they can handle many aspects of it, including filing the petition and navigating the case through the courts. One downside of working with Legal Aid is that the caseload of each attorney is often overwhelming, which can make it hard to communicate with your lawyer.
Finding Help in a South Carolina Bankruptcy Case
In South Carolina, the primary legal aid organization is South Carolina Legal Services (SCLS). This legal aid organization can handle bankruptcy cases for certain South Carolina residents.
When it comes to SCLS, qualifying for legal support is dependent on your income. To qualify, most people must be able to show that their household income is not more than 125% of the federal poverty line. This amount scales based on the size of your family.
Waiving the Fees Related to Filing for Bankruptcy
To qualify for support from Legal Aid, most people must find themselves in a financial bind. While qualifying for free legal work can make an enormous difference for low-income families, it can be possible to have the filing fees for some bankruptcy cases waived.
Specifically, you could qualify for a waiver of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fees depending on your household income. If you earn less than 150 percent of the federal poverty line, the court can waive your fees and allow you to file for free.
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Hiring Private Counsel Might Be in Your Best Interest if You’re Filing for Bankruptcy
Hiring your own attorney might be in your best interest, even if you qualify for help from Legal Aid. If you do not meet the qualifications for Legal Aid in your area, hiring an attorney could be a solid option, as they can offer personalized legal advice. Some private attorneys may be willing to accept a reduced legal fee or take your case pro bono, meaning they do not charge any legal fees.
While you are not obligated to rely on legal counsel during the bankruptcy process, acting as your own attorney can make the process challenging. Bankruptcy law is complicated. There are numerous forms to fill out and calculations to make. Depending on your circumstances, getting a fair outcome in your bankruptcy case could require relying on obscure federal laws that you are not familiar with. A bankruptcy attorney could help your case in the following ways:
Understanding the Bankruptcy Process
Bankruptcy law is complex, especially for anyone that is not experienced in navigating federal court. There are several kinds of bankruptcy, and you may be unsure about which one you qualify to file for. A bankruptcy lawyer could help you navigate this process by first ensuring you are filing for the appropriate type of bankruptcy. Once you have decided on your path forward, they can advise you on all of the legal issues you might face along the way.
Managing Your Creditors
Dealing with creditors is never easy, especially when you have filed for bankruptcy. Thankfully, your attorney would handle all of your communication with your creditors while the case plays out. Letting your lawyer serve as the go-between with your creditors could greatly reduce the stress you face during this process.
Providing You With Peace of Mind Throughout Your Bankruptcy Case
You cannot put a price tag on peace of mind. When you act as your own bankruptcy attorney, you may be constantly wondering if you missed a deadline or made a mistake on a form. Having an attorney that can handle all of that for you allows you to focus on the fresh start you deserve.
Talk to an Attorney From Our Law Firm About Your Bankruptcy Case
Despite the value of free legal guidance, it may be in your best interest to hire private counsel. Qualifying for Legal Aid or other legal assistance organizations is not easy, and their caseload is typically overwhelming. This can leave you feeling like an oversight throughout the bankruptcy process, making a difficult time even more challenging.
The team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC is ready to help you get the most out of the bankruptcy process. Our attorneys have handled countless cases for businesses and individuals alike, and we are ready to put our experience to work for you. Before you file for bankruptcy on your own, let our team review your case and advise you of your options. Contact us as soon as possible to discuss your case. We can address any potential issues and answer all your legal questions.