Filing Bankruptcy - How to file Chapter 7 & 13 Bankruptcy
What are the costs of filing bankruptcy?
One of the first questions that come to mind when considering bankruptcy is how much does filing bankruptcy cost? It's an important issue for those contemplating filing; the last thing anyone under financial duress wants to hear is that they must foot another bill.
Filing bankruptcy doesn't mean you are excused from paying for the process. Many people find they have to save money before they can think seriously about declaring bankruptcy. One way to accomplish this when you're broke is to stop paying any debt that may be discharged by the court in your eventual bankruptcy case - this includes credit card debt, personal loans, and medical bills.
You will start off with a non-waiverable court filing fee. As bankruptcy falls under federal law, the prices are the same no matter which state you file in:
- $299 fee for a Chapter 7 case
- $274 fee for a Chapter 13 case
- $239 for a Chapter 12 case
- $1039 for a Chapter 11 case
The fees to file the basic bankruptcy court paperwork are surprisingly low when compared to the cost of hiring experts to work on your case. Bankruptcy lawyers, financial advisors and accountants quickly rack up the bills. These fees will vary according to the level of professional opinion you obtain. The costs of filing bankruptcy also depend on how large your case is, and what chapter you apply for. For example, filing for Chapter 7 may only cost in the hundreds but a Chapter 11 bankruptcy may incur hourly rates and can cost thousands
The bankruptcy attorney is the most expensive part of the bankruptcy process. It is highly recommended that you hire a lawyer when filing for bankruptcy.
The procedure can be quite complicated and stressful, and any mistakes can lead to charges of inadvertent bankruptcy fraud. The good news is that there are rarely any last minute surprises when the lawyer's bill comes in, as all fees must be set ahead of time and approved by the bankruptcy court.
On top of the main costs are secondary costs that may be incurred by extras like photocopying or printing documents, formal requests for tax forms, and orders for your credit reports.