How Much Does It Cost To File Bankruptcy?

Person calculating how much should filing bankruptcy cost

When you are considering hiring a bankruptcy attorney to file your case, it is important to know how attorneys’ fees are generally handled in a bankruptcy case. In fact, probably one of the first questions you ask yourself is how much does it cost to file bankruptcy. Contrary to popular belief, bankruptcy fees are not determined by the bankruptcy Court. In the vast majority of cases, most bankruptcy lawyers charge a flat fee, however there some that bill by the hour.

Exactly when your fees are due depends on whether you file a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13.

How Much Does It Cost To File Bankruptcy: Chapter 7

Attorneys’ fees for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is determined by how complicated your case is as well as by what other bankruptcy attorneys’ fees are in that area. Your income as well as the amount of assets you own determines how much your attorneys’ fees will be. Typically, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys’ fees range from $500.00 to $3,500 depending on how complicated the case is. In most cases large companies with more advertising and overhead costs will charge more than a solo practitioner. Furthermore, a well-experienced lawyer may have higher fees than a new lawyer. When doing research for a bankruptcy lawyer, it is advisable to call a few attorneys in your area to find out if bankruptcy is their area of specialty, the number of cases they file on a monthly basis, and of course to find out their fees.

How Much Does It Cost To File Bankruptcy: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Most courts have guideline fees that attorneys are permitted to charge of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Attorneys are not permitted to charge more than what is specified by the court guideline, unless special circumstances justify higher fees.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys’ fees guidelines differ from state to state, but range between $2,500 and $6,000 depending on the complexity of the case. One of the good things about filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that not all of the fees have to be paid upfront.

Your bankruptcy lawyer may require a portion of the fees to be paid upfront prior to filing your case with the bankruptcy court. The remainder of the fees will be included in your Chapter 13 bankruptcy payment plan. The amount of the upfront fees asked depends mostly on how the firm or the individual attorney. In the vast majority of cases, you can expect to pay at least half of the total fee upfront before your case is filed.

How Much Does It Cost To File Bankruptcy: Hourly fees Versus Flat Fees

Most attorneys, particularly bankruptcy attorneys, charge a flat fee to provide you with legal counsel during your bankruptcy case. This means that you will pay a fixed amount irrespective of the amount of time the attorney spends on your case.

Although not common in a bankruptcy case, some attorneys may charge you an hourly rate. Generally, bankruptcy attorneys will charge a flat rate for the actual bankruptcy case, and an hourly rate for anything additional.