If you have reached the point where you are considering filing for bankruptcy, then money is probably exceedingly short, so it makes sense that you need to know whether the process is something that you’re able to afford.  Though it’s true that a bankruptcy filing does have some out-of-pocket expenses, they are largely predictable, and the process is frequently worth it as it gives you the opportunity to get a fresh financial start and alleviate the never-ending stress that comes with debt.

First, here is a list of the established filing fees and other required costs:

  • Filing fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy – $335
  • Filing fee for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy – $310
  • Bankruptcy Trustee fee – $15-$20
  • Credit counseling course – Between $20 and $100
  • Cost to convert from Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 filing – free
  • Cost to convert from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 filing – $25

In many cases, bankruptcy applicants are able to pay these fees in installments if the filer can show that paying at once represents a hardship.

The costs listed above exist whether you choose to work with an attorney in your bankruptcy filing or not.  Working with an attorney is generally advised, as the process can be complex, and at times overwhelming – many people who apply for bankruptcy on their own end up having their applications rejected, and then return with attorney representation, which in some areas has been estimated to have a 95% success rate for Chapter 7 filing and 82% success for Chapter 13 filings.

Every attorney’s fees are different and will depend on many different variables including your geographic area, the quality and experience of your attorney, and the complexity of your case. Still, the national average for a Chapter 7 case is a $1,250 fee, and for a Chapter 13 filing, the average is around $3,000, which gets paid up front. If you are trying to determine the specific fee that a bankruptcy law firm charges, you can find it on the federal PACER website, where you can look up the fees in your area or for a particular law firm, or you can contact the firm directly and ask them their fees.

Using an attorney to represent you in a bankruptcy filing means that you don’t have to worry about the complexities of the various administrative responsibilities, plus you get the advantage of their experience and legal guidance, as well as an advocate for dealing with creditors. To learn more about how we can help you through this challenging situation, contact our office today.

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