Filing bankruptcy can be expensive. Although filing without a bankruptcy attorney is the least expensive method, this may not be the best option if you have assets you need to protect.
Effective January 1, 2015, the total fees collected by the bankruptcy courts at the time of filing are as follows
Chapter 7 $335
Chapter 9 $1,717
Chapter 11 $1,717
Chapter 12 $275
Chapter 13 $310
Chapter 15 $1,919
Applying for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee waiver
Bankruptcy filers may request a filing fee waiver if they are an individual, if they are filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, if they cannot make the installment payments over a 120 period, and if their combined family income is less than 150% of the official poverty line (i.e. An individual’s income is less than $1,458.75 per month).
To apply for a fee waiver you must complete the Application for Fee Waiver. Information which must be provided for the waiver includes bank account balances, personal property owned, real estate owned, available cash, monthly living expenses, and family size. The court will review your request for a waiver and either schedule a hearing, order a payment schedule, or deny the fee waiver request.
Credit counseling and financial management class costs
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common type of personal bankruptcy filed by debtors. Bankruptcy laws require users to take a court approved credit counseling course prior to filing bankruptcy and a financial management course prior to the bankruptcy discharge. Credit counseling agencies are required by law to provide the counseling for free if a debtor is not able to pay. Costs are outlined below.
Financial Management Course $15- $70
Counseling Course $15- $70
Bankruptcy filers have the right, under some conditions, to convert their bankruptcy filing to another bankruptcy type. For instance, filers may convert a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if their financial circumstances have changed and they can no longer make debt payments or if they no longer need to keep their property. Costs for conversions are listed below.
Conversion of Chapter 7 to Chapter 11 is $922.
Conversion of Chapter 7 to Chapter 12 is $0.
Conversion of Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 is $0.
Conversion of Chapter 9 to Chapter 7 is $15.
Conversion of Chapter 11 to Chapter 9, 12, 13, or 15 is $0.
Conversion of Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 is $15.
Conversion of Chapter 12 to Chapter 7 is $60.
Conversion of Chapter 12 to Chapter 11 is $0.
Conversion of Chapter 12 to Chapter 13 is $0.
Conversion of Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 is $25.
Conversion of Chapter 13 to Chapter 11 is $932.
Conversion of Chapter 13 to Chapter 12 is $0.
Costs to file a Motion to reopen a bankruptcy case
Filing a motion to reopen a Chapter 7 case is $245.
Filing a motion to reopen a Chapter 9 case is $1167.
Filing a motion to reopen a Chapter 11 case is $1167.
Filing a motion to reopen a Chapter 12 case is $200.
Filing a motion to reopen a Chapter 13 case is $235.
Filing a motion to reopen a Chapter 15 case is $1167.
Costs for hiring a bankruptcy lawyer
Bankruptcy lawyer costs vary based on the prevailing rate for legal services in your area, the complexity of your bankruptcy case, whether you are filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case, and the experience of the lawyer. Most bankruptcy lawyers will provide a free consultation and an estimate for their service costs.
Costs to hire a Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer: $750 or more
Costs to hire a Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer: $2,500 to $4,000
Bankruptcy fees for Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers may be paid in installments, but the last installment payment is required prior to the bankruptcy filing. Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney costs may be consolidated into the Chapter 13 repayment plan and repaid over a period of 3 or 5 years.
Reducing bankruptcy costs
Filing bankruptcy can be expensive. To reduce the costs you can request a bankruptcy filing fee waiver, request free credit counseling and financial management courses, and file your bankruptcy without legal help. Non-attorney representatives may also be hired to prepare bankruptcy petitions, but non-attorney representatives are not attorneys and cannot provide legal advice.
Some bankruptcy filers have questions whether bankruptcy lawyers will perform their bankruptcy pro bono. Unfortunately, although some debtors may qualify for legal aid, there are few lawyers who will perform work without payment.
More Help on Bankruptcy Costs 2015
- How Does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Work? - The one advantage of Chapter 13 over Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is the full discharge option which is not applicable under Chapter 7 filing. - read more
- How much does Chapter 7 bankruptcy cost? - One of the most expense costs of filing a personal bankruptcy is hiring a bankruptcy lawyer. If you have a simple no-asset case you may be able to do it without the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney, but most filers will need legal assistance.
- read more
- How much does filing Chapter 13 cost? - For full details of costs for Chapter 13 you should always consult with a bankruptcy attorney, as costs could update at anytime. Complete our free, no obligation, form today. - read more
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