How to file bankruptcy with no money?

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Filing for bankruptcy can be a daunting process, especially if you find yourself in a situation where you have no money to spare. However, it is important to remember that bankruptcy is designed to provide relief for individuals facing financial hardship. In this article, we will explore the steps you can take to file for bankruptcy with no money and seek the fresh start you need.

Understanding Bankruptcy

Before delving into the process of filing for bankruptcy with no money, it is crucial to have a basic understanding of what bankruptcy entails. Bankruptcy is a legal process that allows individuals or businesses to eliminate or repay their debts under the protection of the court. It is important to note that bankruptcy should be considered as a last resort, and seeking professional advice from a bankruptcy attorney is highly recommended.

Qualifying for Bankruptcy

To file for bankruptcy, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. The most common types of bankruptcy for individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: This type of bankruptcy is often referred to as “liquidation bankruptcy” and involves the sale of non-exempt assets to repay creditors. To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass the means test, which compares your income to the median income in your state. If you have no income or your income is below the median, you may be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Unlike Chapter 7, Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves creating a repayment plan to pay off your debts over a period of three to five years. This type of bankruptcy is suitable for individuals with a regular income who can afford to make monthly payments. If you have no income, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may not be an option for you.

If you have no money to hire a bankruptcy attorney, you may be able to find pro bono legal assistance. Pro bono services are provided by lawyers who offer their services free of charge to individuals who cannot afford legal representation. There are various organizations and legal aid clinics that specialize in providing pro bono assistance for bankruptcy cases. Research local resources or reach out to your state’s bar association for recommendations.

Filing Fee Waiver

When filing for bankruptcy, there is typically a filing fee involved. However, if you have no money, you may be eligible for a filing fee waiver. The court has provisions in place to waive the filing fee for individuals who cannot afford to pay. To request a fee waiver, you will need to submit a fee waiver application along with supporting documentation that demonstrates your financial hardship.

Completing the Bankruptcy Forms

Filing for bankruptcy requires completing a series of forms that provide detailed information about your financial situation. These forms can be complex, but it is essential to provide accurate and complete information. Filling out the forms incorrectly or omitting information can lead to delays or even dismissal of your bankruptcy case. Consider seeking assistance from a bankruptcy self-help center or pro bono legal services to ensure the forms are completed correctly.

Attending Credit Counseling

Before filing for bankruptcy, individuals are required to attend credit counseling from an approved agency. This counseling session aims to provide you with information and resources to help you evaluate your financial situation and explore alternatives to bankruptcy. The cost of credit counseling can be waived if you have no money to pay for it. Ensure you choose a counseling agency approved by the United States Trustee Program.


Filing for bankruptcy with no money may seem like an overwhelming task, but it is not impossible. By understanding the bankruptcy process, seeking pro bono legal assistance, exploring fee waivers, completing the necessary forms accurately, and attending credit counseling, you can navigate the bankruptcy process even with limited financial resources. Remember, bankruptcy is designed to provide a fresh start for individuals facing financial hardship.


– United States Courts:
– Legal Services Corporation:
– American Bar Association:
– United States Trustee Program: