How much does filing a bankruptcy cost?

Last Revised on February 17, 2011

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As simple as it might sound for some to file a bankruptcy, those who have filed one already knows how hard the entire process could be, especially the time and cost associated with it. Many people choose to claim bankruptcy due to financial hardships, but they don’t realize it’s impact on their future; so it is highly recommended that those who are planning to file one should consult with a bankruptcy lawyer or someone or some professional legal resources before taking the first step. Here we will be focusing on the amount of money you should be expecting to spend for filing a bankruptcy.

Filing fees: there are two types of filing fee. If you are filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy form which initiates the debt elimination process, the cost is upto $300. If you are claiming Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection which doesn’t eliminate the debt but rather helps by providing a long-extending repayment plan for years, the filing fee is about $275. But if you have already file Chapter 13 and now wants to change that into chapter 7 due to its faster and easier route, there is a $25 conversion charge to your pocket.

Bankruptcy lawyer costs: the attorneys for bankruptcy can be really helpful since they know the whereabouts and can make the entire process a piece of cake. But many prospective bankruptcy applicants avoid them because high service fees. The lawyer fees could range between $1,000 to $3500 depending on how simple your financial situation is at the moment. Some accept the payments from garnishments.

Accountant fees: you or your lawyer might hire an accountant to make things simple but it will cost you nearly $200 or so more for this additional service.

Bankruptcy counselor: these people specialize in bankruptcy filing process, but they don’t have the degree in law. Therefore, they charge lower fees, usually not more than like $100 or $200. Although most of them provide their counseling service in person, many new firms communicate either through phone or online via email. Year 2010 has seen the needs for bankruptcy counselor risen up.

Online legal document preparation services: There are many new online companies such as legalzoom that help you prepare your bankruptcy document for you as soon as you enter the information that is need. It is often fully automated. Once completed, they send the completed documents to you so that you can take it to the court. The cost range between $300 to $1000, but they prepared your forms within 24 hours. No delay at all. Otherwise, you can buy computer software or do it yourself book assist too.

Payments for past 90 days purchases: Court will look at the luxury products you bought within the last 90 days from the day you filed for bankruptcy. Any purchases that is over $750 has to be accounted for and you must pay that amount. This makes sure people are doing shady things to fraud the government.

Indirect costs: these are the expenses that you will have to pay later on in your life when facing creditors to apply for a loan. They look at your credit history and sort of “penalize” you for having filled a bankruptcy. This is very important because it can hurt the future prospects of your financial strongholds. Therefore, the court will require you to go through a credit counseling at some point, usually at the beginning so if you decide not filing a bankruptcy is not a good option you haven’t wasted any time and money. Although there are exceptions and waiver forms, receiving a counseling from one of the approved counseling organizations or agencies that can be found at the US Trustee Program is a must.

What’s the average cost of filing for bankruptcy? It will vary since it depends on a lot of different factors like the ones we described above. But average cost for filing bankruptcy with an attorney is about $2500, whereas if you do it yourself on your own the average cost comes down to about $700 with fees and other expenses included. You can also seek help from paralegal, also known as petition preparer who helps fill or type information into the forms but can’t give you any legal advice.

As you see now, the cost vary substantially depending on various factors listed above; therefore take them into consideration. If you are going to hire a bankruptcy lawyer, make sure to get the estimate cost before signing with them.

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15 Responses to “How much does filing a bankruptcy cost?”

  1. financially unstable person Says:
    June 16th, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Personally if I had a choice I would never file a bankruptcy doesn’t matter whether it is chapter 7 or 13. All the bankruptcy fees by the court depend to vary between states, but the average court filing fee is around $300.

  2. Declaring Personal Bankruptcy Says:
    June 17th, 2010 at 4:37 am

    Filing for bankruptcy…its a important decision you take. Decision for bankruptcy cost is much more important….The bankruptcy laws are popularly referred to by their chapter number which corresponds to the relevant chapter of the Bankruptcy Code. There are five different chapters debtors may file under, three of which are for individuals: Chapter 7 Liquidation, Chapter 11 Reorganization, and Chapter 13 Reorganization…Declaring Personal Bankruptcy

  3. Attornery's assistant for Debtor Says:
    June 21st, 2010 at 10:46 am

    The bankruptcy filing cost will actually depend on how much debt you are on, the state you are resident of and the information you have. A smart debtor can easily save a lot of money if they plan early and collect necessary resources before taking the first step in filling the application forms. Do realize the approval process can be sometimes too long, if you aren’t educated enough, and thus it may deter you from finishing the process.

  4. what is chapter 12 bankruptcy? Says:
    June 22nd, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Does anyone know what type of bankruptcy the chapter 12 is?

    Please correct me if I am wrong, isn’t that the same as chapter 13 bankruptcy except that it is for farmers.

  5. Bankruptcy filing fees from Official US Courts Says:
    June 22nd, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I just look found out the official numbers that has been in effective since April 9, 2006 until to this day:

    Chapter Total Fees Collected at Time of Filing
    7 $299
    11 $1,039
    12 $239
    13 $274

  6. guaranteed bankruptcy Says:
    July 21st, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. As bad as current economy is, more and more people are looking for resources to save their house even with as little money as they make. This is when sometimes the thought of filing a bankruptcy come into our head. Thanks!

  7. legalzoom bankruptcy cost Says:
    September 15th, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Does anyone know how much filing a bankruptcy through legal zoom cost? I can’t afford a lawyer, so I think I will have to do it myself or get help from a county law office. The only problem is I don’t know where to start, so these online sites such as legalzoom seems to fit me; but I don’t want to pay more than 50 bucks. Thanks for help in advance and hoping that somebody can answer my question.

  8. Tammy Johnson Says:
    September 21st, 2010 at 9:15 am

    To the last person who posted above me, the legalzoom price for filing a bankruptcy paper is very reasonable, low cost and very cheap, compared to hiring a lawyer in person. The prices will vary from state to state. Another option is the Rocket Lawyer, which is also an online legal document guide site. I like how both of them has chapter 7 as well as chapter 13 organized well so people don’t get confused. I would definitely give them a positive review and good recommendation.

  9. don't worry about the price, think about the credit it will cost in long term Says:
    November 15th, 2010 at 11:08 am

    I asked my lawyer how long does a bankruptcy last or stay on your record; he said there are two kinds. The longer it has been since the day it was first filed, the less impact it will have on your credit. Specifically, a chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for ten years. A chapter 13 bankruptcy will last on your report for 7 years from the filing date. There is no way to speed up that time length, nor can you do anything else to change that process.

  10. What is the average cost of chapter 7, 9, 11, 12 and 13? Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    In my state, the average cost of filing for bankruptcy is $299 for Chapter 7 and $274 for Chapter 13. But what about other states, and filing fees for other chapters 9, 11, 12 and 13? By the way, I looked on legalzoom and other online site they didn’t have the complete information.

    I think legalzoom has received may good reviews over a long period of time since its existence but money can be saved if you know where to look for the forms. Those people who are ready to file bankruptcy already are short on cash due to insurmountable amount of debt they have fell into. Sorry, I could find much info about all different chapters.

  11. Cheap Attorney Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Chapter 13 is more expensive to file than Chapter 7.

  12. No need to pay legalzoom fees, DIY Says:
    November 23rd, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    The cost of filing for bankruptcy breaksdown into three types:
    1. What type of bankruptcy chapter you intend to file – for example, average cost for chapter 7 is $200 rom $170 filing fee plus $30 noticing fee) and chapter 13 is $175 after $145 filing fee and $30 noticing fee at totaled together.
    2. Are you filing forms yourself? Or you are going to use legal attorneys? Or are you gonna use online bankruptcy filing sites such as legalzoom?
    3. How much money you have in the pocket and what are bankruptcy takeaways? Every individual has different circumstance.

  13. Confused but not lost, at least not yet Says:
    December 7th, 2010 at 9:16 am

    I heard it is very hard now a day to file for the type of bankruptcy where they abolish all of your debt. However, what about the type of bankruptcy where you pay back some of your debt? If someone files this type of bankrupcy, will he or she definitely get accepted if all the application if completed, even if you make a high income or how much is the limit? How much of your debt do they make you pay back and in what time frame? How much does it cost to file for bankruptcy nowadays? Do you have to pay a lawyer up front? Does a lawyer guarantee you will be accepted for filing bankruptcy? Sorry, but i have a lot of questions but not many answers can be found on the internet.

  14. Effie Alistar Says:
    December 14th, 2010 at 1:19 am

    It seems backward to cost a lot of money for filing a bankruptcy because that person doesn’t have much to pay off the debts to stat with. Now if you hire a lawyer it cost a lot, but if do it yourself you are on your own and it will take too long to be finalized by the judge. That’s why bankruptcy declaration cost needs to be reduced. I wondering where can i get free help to pay for bankruptcy paperwork and stuff; government should make this process easier.

  15. How much does it cost to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy? Says:
    February 17th, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Here is my short story: I have no money, which is why I am filing for bankruptcy at the first place. But it still costs money to file bankruptcy. How do I go about now? Anyway, this is my first and last time going through this trouble, and was wondering if anyone could tell me how much it costs to file for chapter 7. I researched and read here that I am eligible for bankruptcy? I believe I meet all “qualifications” but need some guidance now.

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