One of the common questions our staff receives is how much Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys charge for filing Chapter 13. The cost to file bankruptcy can seem overwhelming. However, filing bankruptcy can be much less costly than settling debts or making minimum monthly payments. Let’s explore Chapter 13 attorneys fees and how much the upfront costs might be to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case.
The amount of Chapter 13 attorneys fees varies by state and jurisdiction. The fees an attorney charges for a Chapter 13 case must be reasonable. Therefore, most bankruptcy courts have Chapter 13 guidelines that set maximum Chapter 13 fees for most cases.
The Bankruptcy Code requires lawyers to disclose how much they charge for their services. The court reviews and approves Chapter 13 attorneys fees . If the court determines an attorney’s fee is excessive, the court could adjust the fees.
Most bankruptcy courts set “no look” fees that are presumed reasonable. The court accepts the fee as reasonable if the bankruptcy attorney does not charge more than the presumptively reasonable attorney fee for a Chapter 13 case.
For example, the presumptive fee for Chapter 13 cases in the District of Nevada is $5,000 as of February 1, 2021. However, the presumptively reasonable attorney fee in Chapter 13 cases in the Middle District of Florida is $4,500.
Most attorneys charge the presumptive attorneys fees for Chapter 13 cases. The average attorney’s fees for a Chapter 13 case could range from $3,000 to $5,000. Attorneys might charge higher fees if the debtor is self-employed or if issues complicate the case. If the attorney charges higher fees, the attorney fee is subject to court review.
|State||Average Fee Range|
|Alabama||$3500 - $4500|
|Arkansas||$2800 - $3000|
|California||$3300 - $4800|
|District of Columbia||$3,000|
|Florida||$3500 - $4000|
|Illinois||$3500 - $3800|
|Kentucky||$3000 - $4000|
|Louisiana||$2400 - $2800|
|Mississippi||$3400 - $3600|
|New York||$3500 - $7500|
|Ohio||$3500 - $4000|
|Oklahoma||$1810 - $6310|
|Pennsylvania||$3000 - $4500|
|Texas||$2500 and $3825|
|Utah||$3000 and $3500|
|Virginia||$4750 and $5609|
The presumptive fee does not cover all services a Chapter 13 attorney might charge for a bankruptcy case. But, typically, the presumptive fees cover most legal services required to prepare and file the Chapter 13 case and have the Chapter 13 plan confirmed.
Attorneys might charge additional fees for services not required in all Chapter 13 cases. The services that fall outside the presumptive fee vary by jurisdiction. Likewise, the presumptive fee for additional services varies by jurisdiction.
Examples of additional services that a Chapter 13 attorney might charge a fee to provide include:
In many cases, Chapter 13 debtors do not need to pay additional attorney’s fees. Unless they have a problem with their case or encounter an unusual circumstance, the initial attorney’s fee covers the legal fees from the beginning until the end of the Chapter 13 case.
Writing a check for $3,500 might not be possible for everyone. Therefore, many Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers are paid through the Chapter 13 plan. The attorneys’ fees are added to the bankruptcy plan as an administrative expense. Each month, the Chapter 13 trustee pays your bankruptcy lawyer from your Chapter 13 plan payment until the attorneys’ fees are paid in full.
A Chapter 13 attorney could include the entire attorneys’ fee in the Chapter 13 plan. Some lawyers accept a portion of the attorneys’ fees up front and place the remaining balance in the Chapter 13 plan. Allowing clients to pay Chapter 13 attorneys fees through the bankruptcy plan helps make filing Chapter affordable.
In addition to attorneys’ fees, the other costs of filing Chapter 13 include the following:
The court filing fee for a Chapter 13 case is the same regardless of the state where you file your case. However, the cost of the bankruptcy courses depends on the provider.
The United States Trustee approves providers for credit counseling and debtor education courses. You can choose any provider approved for your state. Therefore, you can save money by comparing the cost charged by several providers to find the lowest fee. Many companies provide both courts for one price, which is often easier and less expensive for the debtor.
Most bankruptcy attorneys include other costs in their attorneys’ fees, such as postage and copies. However, you would be responsible for these costs if you filed for bankruptcy without a lawyer.
Ascend provides a variety of services to help individuals get out of debt. We want to help you find the best debt relief option for your situation. Please feel free to call or text us at (833) 272-3631 or take the free Chapter 13 lawyer fee estimator below.