If you are like me, you may wonder how you can afford to file bankruptcy considering that the reason you are considering filing bankruptcy is due to potential financial hardship resulting in a lack of disposable income. Thankfully most attorneys take payment plans and have ideas to help make bankruptcy feasible for most situations.
The purpose of this article is to provide you an estimated all-in cost for bankruptcy based on your city/zip code while explaining the different components of the cost.
Take the calculator below if you want to jump directly into the cost estimate for your city.
In bankruptcy, there are often fixed costs and variable costs. The fixed costs are the filing and administrative fees and the variable costs are the attorney fees. We will provide you the fixed costs below and recommend you take the bankruptcy cost estimator to estimate the cost in your city.
Fixed Costs: Provided by the US Courts (here and here), the filing cost for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $338 ($245 filing fee $78 administrative fee + $15 trustee surcharge) and the filing cost for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is $313 ($235 filing fee + $78 administrative fee)
Variable Costs: The variable cost is based on the attorney fee. In our bankruptcy attorney fee article, we estimate the fee is based on 1) Type of Bankruptcy 2) Complexity of case 3) Your location 4) Level of attorney involvement 5) Bankruptcy experience and expertise.
You can use the estimator below which will estimate the total cost based on your city. The calculator also uses the means test to estimate Chapter 7 qualification.
Using the above methodology, and understand that there may be smaller Chapter 7 bankruptcy costs such as the credit counseling course and credit reports, let’s go through some estimates for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
The estimates provided below are from the bankruptcy estimator in a few larger areas in the United States.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a wage earners plan, which means that the bankruptcy consists of a monthly plan payment each month for that period. Some opt for Chapter 13 when they do not qualify for Chapter 7 or have too much equity in an asset. You may want to take the Chapter 13 calculator to estimate Chapter 13 affordability. The main bankruptcy alternative to Chapter 13 bankruptcy is debt settlement, which can be compared to using the calculator.
Chapter 13 is often more expensive than Chapter 7 because the cases are more complex, but the Chapter 13 attorney fees are often included in the bankruptcy monthly payment plan, sometimes potentially making it more affordable than a one time upfront Chapter 7 bankruptcy payment.
Bankruptcy is a legal debt relief option for those struggling to deal with debt, often due to financial hardship. There are alternatives to bankruptcy that should be explored, but the ultimate decision is yours. Take the bankruptcy cost estimator below to estimate what the cost would be in your city to file bankruptcy and hire an attorney.