Bankruptcy / Chapter 13 / How Much Does A Lawyer Charge

How Much Does A Lawyer Charge for Chapter 13? See the Breakdown For Your State

Written by Ben Tejes
Updated May 12th, 2023

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.

What Is the Average Chapter 13 Attorneys Fees?

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.

Use your zip code to estimate the exact Chapter 13 lawyer fee by your zip code using the free Chapter 13 Lawyer fee estimator below that is based on the no look fees in each state.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer Fees By State

If helpful, we scoured the internet for all the Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney no-look fees by each state, so we built it in the program below, so you can estimate it for yourself.

Please note that these numbers DO NOT include the filing fee, so if you'd like the all in cost estimate, you can do so using the free Chapter 13 Lawyer cost estimator above.

StateAverage 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 Hampshire$4,500
New Jersey$4,500
New Mexico$3,000
New York$3500 - $7500
North Carolina$3,700
North Dakota$3,000
Ohio$3500 - $4000
Oklahoma$1810 - $6310
Pennsylvania$3000 - $4500
Rhode Island$2,500
South Carolina$3,700
South Dakota$2,500
Texas$2500 and $3825
Utah$3000 and $3500
Virginia$4750 and $5609
West Virginia$3,500

Do Presumptive Chapter 13 Attorneys Fees Cover All Legal Services for a Chapter 13 Case?

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:

  • Motion to Value Collateral
  • Motion to Void a Lien
  • Amending a Chapter 13 plan after confirmation
  • Motion to Incur Debt
  • Amended schedules after the plan was confirmed
  • Responding to a Motion to Modify the Automatic Stay
  • Responding to a Motion to Dismiss
  • Motion to Convert From Chapter 13 to Chapter 7

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.

Estimate a Chapter 13 plan payment with our free Chapter 13 Calculator

How Do I Pay the Cost to Hire a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer?

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.

What Are the Other Costs of Filing Chapter 13?

In addition to attorneys’ fees, the other costs of filing Chapter 13 include the following:

  • The cost of credit counseling is $10 to $50
  • A court filing fee of $313
  • The cost of the debtor education course is $10 to $50
  • Travel expenses to and from court
  • Fees for amending bankruptcy schedules if you forget to include a creditor, asset, or other information

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.

Do You Want More Information About Filing Chapter 13 and Other Debt Relief Options?

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.