Cost Of Filing Bankruptcy

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Cost Of Filing Bankruptcy

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The cost of filing bankruptcy includes the cost of credit counseling for bankruptcy, bankruptcy filing fees, and bankruptcy attorney fees.

Credit Counseling For Bankruptcy

People are required to have two types of credit counseling for bankruptcy. They are required to have both pre-bankruptcy credit counseling which is before they file bankruptcy and post-bankruptcy counseling which is after they file bankruptcy, but before they are discharged of their debts. The counseling may be in person, online, or over the phone. The bankruptcy code does allow the credit counseling to be waived in certain situations.

Both types of credit counseling for bankruptcy (pre-bankruptcy credit counseling and post-bankruptcy counseling) will cost around $50 to $75 each. So, you can expect to pay about $100 to $150 for the required credit counseling.

 Bankruptcy Filing Fees

Whenever a bankruptcy petition is filed, there is also a filing fee due and it varies in amount according to which chapter of the bankruptcy code the petition is filed. The bankruptcy code does allow, in certain circumstances, for the filing fee to be paid in installments or waived altogether. There are also miscellaneous fees which the bankruptcy court charges. Unless you qualify for a waiver of fees, you can expect to pay the following:

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
                                            Bankruptcy Filing Fee                $245.00
                                            Administrative Fee                         39.00
                                            Trustee Surcharge                         15.00
                       Total Bankruptcy Filing Fees For Chapter 7       $299.00

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
                                            Bankruptcy Filing Fee                $235.00
                                            Administrative Fee                         39.00   
                      Total Bankruptcy Filing Fees For Chapter 13      $274.00

The bankruptcy filing fees are on a per case basis. In other words, the fees are the same regardless of whether there is only one person is filing bankruptcy or if there are two people filing a joint bankruptcy. Also, please understand that the above stated fees may change. The actual cost to file bankruptcy may be more or less.

Bankruptcy Attorney Fees

While people can file their own bankruptcy without an attorney, that is not recommended. There are so many technical details that can make a big difference in either a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is a really good idea to hire an attorney. Bankruptcy attorneys can see that you do not get into trouble with the bankruptcy court (which is easy to do if you really do not know what you are doing) and can see that you receive the full benefit of the bankruptcy laws.

Oddly, even though the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fees are more that Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fees, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires less work. And attorneys charge less for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy than they charge for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

We will not speculate on what an attorney will charge, but will suggest that you call several attorneys and ask what they charge for both types of bankruptcy and if they charge anything for the initial consultation. Be sure to find out whether or not they are including the filing fees when they tell you what they charge. Some attorneys will give you a bottom line amount, but some will give you only the attorney fee. To avoid problems later, be sure that you understand what fees they are including. Most bankruptcy attorneys do not mind price shoppers. So, do not be afraid to call.

This is general information only. If you have any questions whatsoever, talk with a lawyer licensed in your state who has experience with Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or bankruptcy in general.

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