Bankruptcy / California / Cost

Understand the Cost to File Bankruptcy in California

Written by Ben Tejes
Updated Oct 21st, 2021

If you are like me, you probably wonder how you can afford the cost of bankruptcy in California when it’s difficult to pay bills. Many bankruptcy costs such as the filing fee and the credit counseling courses are relatively similar. That said, the cost of bankruptcy attorney fees may range dramatically whether you are in Los Angeles or San Diego. 

The purpose of this article is to provide you with estimated all-in costs:

  1. Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
  2. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

1. Bankruptcy Attorney Fees California

A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is often less expensive than Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter7 bankruptcy attorneys in California can cost between $900 - $2000. The cost may increase or decrease based on complexity and location.

Here are some of the ranges of cost in major cities in California.

Attorney Fees in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is the most populated city in California with a population of 3,997,984. Bankruptcy attorneys in Los Angeles can cost an estimated $1,500.

Attorney Fees in San Diego

Bankruptcy attorneys in San Diego can cost an estimated $1,500.

Attorney Fees in San Jose

Bankruptcy attorneys in San Jose can cost an estimated $2,000.

2. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Fees California

Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in California can cost $3300 - $4800. The fee can depend on the district.

While Chapter 7 attorney fees have variability, many Chapter 13 fees are relatively similar based on no-look fees, a reasonable cost for the service provided. You may still want to see whether the attorney charges an hourly rate for any additional work after filing the Chapter 13

3. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

Bankruptcy filing costs are pretty similar across the United States, not just California. Here are the other costs to consider. 

Bankruptcy Filing Fees

The US Courthouse has a fee schedule and a bankruptcy form that provides the filing fee. 

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee is $338 ($245 filing fee $78 administrative fee + $15 trustee surcharge).

The Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fee is $313 ($235 filing fee + $78 administrative fee).

Mandatory Course Costs

When you file bankruptcy, you have to take an approved credit counseling course in California and a debtor education course. You can often take both courses online. The average cost may is around $10 to $50 per course.

Miscellaneous Costs

You may have to pay for transportation to the meeting of creditors at the courthouse. You may also have to pay for a credit report for your attorney (although they may be able to help you with the credit report).

You can estimate the cost of transportation to one of the bankruptcy courts below:

Northern District

  • Phillip Burton Federal Building
    & United States Courthouse
    450 Golden Gate Avenue
    San Francisco, CA 94102
  • Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building
    & United States Courthouse
    1301 Clay Street
    Oakland, CA 94612
  • Robert F. Peckham Federal Building
    & United States Courthouse
    280 South 1st Street, Room 2112
    San Jose, CA 95113
  • United States Courthouse
    3140 Boeing Avenue
    McKinleyville, CA 95519

Eastern

  • Robert E. Coyle United States Courthouse
    2500 Tulare Street
    Fresno, CA 93721
  • Robert T. Matsui United States Courthouse
    501 "I" Street
    Sacramento, CA 95814

Central

  • 350 W 1st Street, Suite 4311
    Los Angeles, CA 90012-4565
  • 255 East Temple Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90012-3332
  • 3470 Twelfth Street
    Riverside, CA 92501-3801
  • 411 West 4th Street, Room 1053
    Santa Ana, CA 92701-4516

Southern

  • 221 West Broadway
    San Diego, CA 92101
  • 333 West Broadway
    San Diego, CA 92101
  • 2003 W. Adams Ave, Ste 220
    El Centro, CA 92243