How to file for bankruptcy with no money?

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Filing for bankruptcy can be a daunting process, especially when you have no money to spare. However, it is important to remember that bankruptcy is designed to provide individuals with a fresh start when they are overwhelmed by debt. In this article, we will explore the steps you can take to file for bankruptcy even if you have no money to cover the associated costs.

Understanding Bankruptcy

Before diving into the process of filing for bankruptcy with no money, it is crucial to understand the basics of bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a legal process that allows individuals or businesses to eliminate or repay their debts under the protection of the court. There are different types of bankruptcy, including Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, each with its own eligibility requirements and procedures.

Consulting with a Bankruptcy Attorney

While it may seem counterintuitive to seek legal advice when you have no money, consulting with a bankruptcy attorney is essential. Many attorneys offer free or low-cost initial consultations and can provide valuable guidance throughout the bankruptcy process. They can help you determine the most appropriate type of bankruptcy for your situation and guide you through the necessary paperwork.

Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often referred to as “liquidation bankruptcy” as it involves the sale of non-exempt assets to repay creditors. To file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with no money, you may qualify for a fee waiver. The fee waiver allows individuals with income below a certain threshold to have their filing fees waived or paid in installments. Additionally, some bankruptcy attorneys may offer pro bono services or work on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if your case is successful.

Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as “reorganization bankruptcy,” allows individuals to create a repayment plan to pay off their debts over a period of three to five years. To file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy with no money, you may be eligible for a fee waiver or have the option to pay the filing fee in installments. Again, consulting with a bankruptcy attorney is crucial to navigate the complexities of Chapter 13 bankruptcy and ensure you meet all the requirements.

If you are unable to afford a bankruptcy attorney, there are legal aid organizations that may be able to provide free or low-cost legal services. These organizations often have income eligibility requirements, so it is important to check their guidelines. They can assist you with the bankruptcy process, including filling out the necessary forms and representing you in court if needed.


Filing for bankruptcy with no money may seem challenging, but it is not impossible. By consulting with a bankruptcy attorney, exploring fee waivers, and seeking assistance from legal aid organizations, you can navigate the bankruptcy process even when you have limited financial resources. Remember, bankruptcy is designed to provide a fresh start, and with the right support, you can take steps towards a brighter financial future.


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