The cost to file bankruptcy in District of Columbia is $338 for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and $313 for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but the answer becomes more nuanced if you decide to file with a bankruptcy attorney and if you are trying to get the filing fees waived.
If you are like me, you probably wonder how you can afford the cost of bankruptcy in District of Columbia when it’s difficult to pay bills, especially in 2022 as inflation runs rampant. 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 Washington, D.C. or East Washington, D.C..
The purpose of this article is to provide you with estimated all-in costs:
A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is often less expensive than Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys in District of Columbia can cost between $1200 - $1500. The cost may increase or decrease based on the following factors: Complexity, location, level of attorney connection, and the bankruptcy lawyer's expertise.
Here are some of the ranges of cost in major cities in District of Columbia.
Washington, D.C. is the most populated city in District of Columbia with a population of 702,455. Bankruptcy attorneys in Washington, D.C. can cost an estimated $1,500.
Bankruptcy attorneys in East Washington, D.C. can cost an estimated $1,500.
Bankruptcy attorneys in West Washington, D.C. can cost an estimated $1,500.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in District of Columbia can cost $3,000. 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
Bankruptcy filing costs are pretty similar across the United States, not just District of Columbia. Here are the other costs to consider.
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).
|# of People||150% Poverty Guideline|
|* Add $4,720 for each individual in excess of 9.|
When you file bankruptcy, you have to take an approved credit counseling course in District of Columbia and a debtor education course. You can often take both courses online. The average cost may is around $10 to $50 per course. Please note that the courses must be approved, so here is the list of approved District of Columbia credit counseling courses and District of Columbia debtor education courses that should also have the cost associated with the course.
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:
With rising inflation in 2022, a question I’ve heard is whether inflation will affect the cost of bankruptcy. Let’s cover whether inflation may affect the filing fee and the attorney costs in District of Columbia.
The Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee was updated from $335 to $338, and the Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fee was updated from $310 to $313 effective December 1st, 2020. Based on the very slight change, I would not expect the filing fee to negatively impact you.
You may see some inflation in attorney fee costs as inflation may force bankruptcy attorneys to pay more to employees and face higher costs of living themselves in cities such as East Washington, D.C. or West Washington, D.C. or across District of Columbia.
You may live in a suburb in District of Columbia and wonder if you should hire a local attorney or an account in a bigger city like East Washington, D.C. to save on bankruptcy costs.
As Washington, D.C. has the highest population in District of Columbia of 702,455, you may expect that the cost of bankruptcy attorney fees may be higher in Washington, D.C. than West Washington, D.C..
While the cost may be higher in Washington, D.C., there also may be more bankruptcy attorneys increasing competition and dropping prices. So, you actually could find that the total cost to file bankruptcy including bankruptcy fees could be actually much higher in your city than in Washington, D.C..
One thing to be aware of is that most bankruptcy attorneys offer free bankruptcy consultations, so you can get multiple perspectives. Also, our bankruptcy cost calculator below takes into consideration those variables when providing you with an all-in cost estimate.
You may compare prices from two different bankruptcy attorneys in East Washington, D.C., and find attorney costs vary between two attorneys.
The Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys often charge the same amount regardless in West Washington, D.C. due to the no-look fee (a normal fee for the services provided). That said, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney fee can vary greatly, so it's important to understand what you are getting for the additional cost.
The bankruptcy lawyer cost is often based on the following attributes:
For example, let’s say you make $10,000 above the median income for District of Columbia and still want to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The attorney may then have to spend additional time looking over your expenses to see whether you would qualify for a Chapter 7 even though you are above the median. Additional attorney time generally means a higher overall bankruptcy cost.
If you are interested to learn more, please visit this article: Understanding Bankruptcy Lawyer Fees.