This is the most common question I get during an initial phone call. There are three components to look at to determine the total cost of your bankruptcy:
- Credit Counseling
- Court Costs mandated by the Middle District (Federal Bankruptcy Court)
- Attorneys Fees
Credit Counseling is a pre-requisite to filing your case. This means every person who files a case must complete a credit-counseling course. The good news is its inexpensive and costs about $20-45 and can be done at home on-line. It takes about an hour and many clients actually find it informative. The court costs to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy are: $338 dollars and $313 dollars to file a Chapter 13 case. The court not the attorney sets these mandatory court filing fees.
The Middle District Court (Federal Bankruptcy Court) actually mandates how much an attorney can charge for Chapter 7 cases, Chapter 13 cases, motions and attendance at hearings. For this reason, there is generally not a huge variation on what attorneys charge their clients. In fact, every attorney is required to file a fee disclosure with the court on every single case to make sure you are being charged a fair attorney fee.
My fee will vary slightly depending on the complexity of the case. I do not advertise for $300 bankruptcy as a tactic to upsell you when you get into my office for the initial consult. I am completely upfront with you on a total price during the initial consult. I will handle every aspect of your case thoroughly from beginning to end to make sure the outcome is successful and stress free for you. With that being said, if you make this a priority and its important to you to get your bankruptcy filed, I will absolutely work with you to make an arrangement that meets you budget. We offer affordable monthly payment plans to fit your budget. Do not let that be an obstacle to getting the help you need.
Making the wrong choice on an attorney can be a very costly mistake. If the proper exemptions are not claimed and the attorney has not thoroughly reviewed all of your documents – you may end up paying a lot more to the trustee than to your lawyer if the paperwork is not filed correctly. Especially when its unexpected and you cannot afford it. While the costs and fees are several hundred dollars – many people discharge tens of thousands of dollars in debt so the benefit is huge relative to the cost. If you have any questions regarding the cost to file your bankruptcy please contact me.