Once you make the decision to file for bankruptcy, it's important to understand the cost. This financial issue should not keep you from getting the financial help you need, so read on to find out what to expect when it comes to paying the costs of your bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy Court Costs
The court fee is due at the time of your filing and is usually part of the total fee you pay your attorney. As of 2018, the filing fee for a chapter 7 bankruptcy is $335.00. The other common form of bankruptcy most consumers use is chapter 13 and it will cost you $310.00 in court costs.
If you are unable to pay the entire fee and need to file right away, you can apply to pay the fee using an installment plan. Approval of the application allows filers to spread the $335.00 or $310.00 out in more affordable payments.
If you are unable to pay using the installment plan, you may qualify for indigent status. If you are approved, the entire bankruptcy filing fee is waived. Your income must fall below certain limits and you must pledge under oath that you cannot afford to pay the full cost or use the installment plan to pay your fee.
Bankruptcy Education Courses
Filers must complete two different financial education classes – one before they file and another before the bankruptcy can be final. The cost of these two classes can vary from agency to agency, but you can expect to pay about $70.00 for each class. As with the court filing fees, the costs for these classes may be reduced or waived for those who have a very low income.
The vast majority of bankruptcy cases proceed through the system without a hiccup. Some filers, however, experience problems that can add on to the cost of the bankruptcy. Any time a case encounters issues that must be heard in court, there will be additional court costs. Some examples of extra court costs situations include:
- A creditor objects to charges on a credit card or alleges fraud.
- The bankruptcy trustee encounters a filer who has attempted to hide assets.
- The filer has lied on their bankruptcy paperwork.
The fee your attorney charges can vary widely from place to place. Additionally, the more complicated your bankruptcy case the higher your fee might be. If you have a lot of assets, a lot of creditors, a complicated tax situation and other extraordinary circumstances, your fees will be higher. Most bankruptcy attorneys charge a flat fee that includes the court costs, the preparation of your bankruptcy paperwork, the filing of the forms and representation through a typical bankruptcy process.
Bankruptcy attorneys can provide you with an estimate of the cost of their services after evaluating your unique situation, so get started by speaking to a bankruptcy attorney service today.