Declaring bankruptcy is a way for debtors to achieve debt relief. Two types of bankruptcy can be filed to eliminate most consumer debts: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 or liquidation bankruptcies allow a debtor to wipe out their unsecured debts after liquidating their assets and property to pay back a portion of their debts. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing is the most common type of bankruptcy filed, and the bankruptcy proceeding usually lasts a few months.

Chapter 13 bankruptcies are called wage-earner plan because it allows you to get your debts discharged by completing a debt repayment plan for three to five years. Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings let you keep property considered nonexempt in a bankruptcy Chapter 7.

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, a local bankruptcy lawyer can help you check your eligibility and determine which types of bankruptcy to file given your situation. Read on to learn about the bankruptcy filing costs for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Costs

Bankruptcy Filing Costs Amount
Chapter 7 Filing Fees $335
Conversion to Chapter 7 $25
Credit Counseling Course $20 to $100
Total Cost Without an Attorney $350 to $450
Total Cost With an Attorney $1500 to $3000

 

When you file a bankruptcy petition to the bankruptcy court, you’re required to pay a fixed filing fee. The amount depends on which type of bankruptcy you’re filing for, and whether you’re filing a new bankruptcy case or converting it to another chapter. If you can’t afford to afford the required fees, you can file a waiver along with your bankruptcy petition to pay the fee in four installments.

The Bankruptcy Code also requires all bankruptcy filers to take a pre-filing and post-filing course from an approved credit counseling agency. Your completion certificates should be filed along with your bankruptcy forms before filing, and before getting your bankruptcy discharge when you complete the bankruptcy proceeding.

Another factor that can incur costs is deciding whether to hire an attorney or not. You’re allowed to file bankruptcy on your own, but it’s highly advised to seek legal help from an attorney. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you prepare your petition in bankruptcy, file for a bankruptcy petition, and make sure that your bankruptcy information is accurate and complete.

The average attorney fees for a Chapter 7 case is $1250 but may vary depending on the complexity of your case. Your bankruptcy attorney is responsible for managing the administrative aspect of your bankruptcy case and will help you protect property under bankruptcy exemptions and resolve disputes with creditors requesting relief from the automatic stay.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Costs

Bankruptcy Filing Costs Amount
Chapter 13 Filing Fees $310
Conversion to Chapter 13 Free
Credit Counseling Course $20 to $100
Total Cost Without an Attorney $350 to $450
Total Cost With an Attorney $3000 to $4000

 

Similarly, the Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing entails a fixed filing fee. However, you can convert your case to a Chapter 13 without a fee if you failed the means test for your Chapter 7 filing. You’re also required by the bankruptcy law to complete a credit counseling course before filing and a financial management course after filing.

While you’re also allowed to file Chapter 13 on your own, the success rates for pro se filings are even lower than that of Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases. Since Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings are more complicated and take longer to complete, the attorney fees are generally higher than that for Chapter 7. Bankruptcy attorneys can also help petitioners negotiate with creditors and come up with a Chapter 13 payment plan that works for you.

If you’re dealing with debt, filing bankruptcy can give you the debt relief you’re looking for. Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys at WantAFreshStart, LLC can help you prepare your petition in bankruptcy and assist you throughout the bankruptcy process. What are you waiting for? Call our office and get your fresh start today!