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Get free bankruptcy consultations from attorneys and credit counselors.

Find where and how to get a free bankruptcy consultation. Learn about the pros and cons, steps to take, forms to complete, the court process and more. Get free advice and input when filing bankruptcy from attorneys as well as free or low-cost credit counseling agencies. They can help clients understand and navigate the process, answer questions, give advice, and even assist with the forms and paperwork. The bankruptcy consultations, whether for Chapter 7 or 13, will be free and the lawyers as well as counselors will also try to keep all fees minimized, if not “waived”. Find details below.

When it comes to bankruptcy assistance, low-income families as well as the elderly can often get free consultations. If the client is more moderate or higher income, and see they need to file for reasons that may not be directly tied to their income, it will be harder for them to get free advice. However, they can try a non-profit credit counseling agency for assistance.

Government assistance to pay for bankruptcy attorneys

The federal government provides free legal aid nationwide. Attorneys as well as their staff can assist with countless needs, ranging from financial disputes to housing, personal bankruptcy filings, unpaid, child support, cash assistance applications, debt collection calls and so much more. The federal government provides this assistance, including free bankruptcy filing as well as consultation services, as part of LSC, or Legal Services Corporation. Find details on free advice from lawyers near you

In addition to the federal government legal aid from LSC, many states as well as major cities offer their own solutions. For example, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs offers a Free Legal Helpline (phone 888-895-7873) to senior citizens or retirees. The hotline goes to local attorneys or paralegals, and they help with consumer issues, including debts or Chapter 7 or 13 filing.  Other options include the California Rural Legal Assistance (phone 1-800-337-0690), the NYC Legal Aid Society (212-577-3300) as well as many other options. That information will be listed by state below or use the search bar at the top or bottom of this page, or find government assistance programs by state.

Any free legal aid or representation for filling bankruptcy or advice that is paid for by the government will require income and/or asset requirements. As the lawyers will only give free assistance to low income households, people living in poverty, the disabled or elderly. But the bankruptcy support is all inclusive – meaning there will be free consultations, help completing and filing paperwork, representation in court and more. The government will help pay for the low-income family as they both learn how to file bankruptcy as well as understand the pros, cons, and process.




Free or low-cost legal clinics

This type of assistance comes and goes, and it may be harder to find. Many law firms or practicing attorneys “give back” to the community in order to help the less fortunate, and this is often referred to as Pro Bono legal aid. Local law firms or independent attorneys often hold free legal clinics in towns and cities, and as part of those they can give free consultations on filing Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. They may help with completing any bankruptcy applications, legal documents or paperwork at the clinics as well. This form of assistance is generally more short term and may not be all inclusive, but it can assist.

The legal clinics can be held in almost any community. They may be held at a library near you, local social service office, a community action agency, a local corporation, or any other place. To get referrals or to learn more on how to get a free consultation from an attorney near you, try contacting a community action agency for assistance. Another option will be the United Way.

Non-profit free credit counseling for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy advice

There are federal government certified credit counseling agencies that can give free bankruptcy advice as well. Note this assistance is also generally income based. However even moderate- or high-income families can get low-cost consultations when it comes to filing Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcies. There are non-profits such as Money Management International (MMI), Greenpath Financial, Clearpoint, Take Charge America, and others.

Some of these non-profits have attorneys on staff that can give consultations. Other firms may “outsource” a bankruptcy filing (or consultation) to a partner law firm, including pro-bono lawyers or attorneys from Legal Services Corporation (LSC). In either case, some form of legal advice will be given.

The free non-profit credit counseling agencies can not only give pros, cons, and free advice on whether to file bankruptcy or not, but they can provide other financial help as well. They can assist clients with debt reduction, auto or personal loan payments, DMPs, medical needs, budgeting and more. The credit counseling agencies give a wide range or free or low cost services. In addition they may give consultations over the phone, video chat, or face to face at local, in person offices. Find free government approved credit counseling agencies near you for bankruptcy advice.


By Jon McNamara

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