Additional Fees And Costs When Filing Bankruptcy
Here are a few other expenses youll likely have to pay for when you file Chapter 7.
Filing fees.In addition to the fees you pay your attorney, youll have to pay the bankruptcy courts filing fee of $338 unless you qualify for a waiver because you earn no more than 150% of the national poverty guidelines.
Bankruptcy counseling course fees. Everyone filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy must take two bankruptcy counseling courses: one before filing and another afterward. These courses should cost about $60 or less. Discounted courses are available for low-income people.
Litigation fees and costs. If your bankruptcy case ends up in litigation, you’ll owe your attorney more money. According to our survey, the vast majority of Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases moved through the process without incident. However, not all cases do. In a small percentage of cases, a creditor will object to the bankruptcy court’s discharging a debt on the grounds of fraud .
If a creditor files an adversary proceeding for fraud , youll need to pay your bankruptcy attorney additional fees to oppose the adversary proceeding on your behalf. Your regular bankruptcy fee does not include representing you in this type of litigation.
What Is A Bankruptcy Lawyer
Bankruptcy is a procedure designed to give relief to individuals or businesses that owe their creditors money. The goal of bankruptcy is to allow debtors to restructure their debt agreements, reduce the amount they are owed, or in some cases, eliminate part or all their debt altogether.
However, while bankruptcy can represent a clean slate to someone struggling to meet their debt obligations, bankruptcy can be an expensive and long process with many different payment variables. Below is a detailed explanation of this process and the fees and costs associated with it.
How Many Years Apart Can You File Bankruptcy Online
Basically, you can file for bankruptcy more than once in your entire life. The number of cases depends on the time that has passed since the last bankruptcy proceedings. If you have already filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and want to file for bankruptcy again, the deadline is eight years from the last time you filed your claim.
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Alternatives For Paying The Filing Fee Upfront
Sometimes it can be tough to come up with the money upfront for a bankruptcy filing. This is true, particularly if you are deep in debt and feel like all hope has been lost. Fortunately, there may be options available if you find yourself unable to pay this initial charge before your proceedings begin!
If you can pay your fees over time you may be able to enter into an installment payment plan for you filing fee. On other occasions the bankruptcy court can waive the filing fee. Either of these alternatives require your attorney to file a motion with the bankruptcy court. A bankruptcy judge will decide if either an installment plan or fee waiver is appropriate for the Debtor.
Your lawyer will want to consult with the local rules for how these motions are to be filed. These options may work best for you and provide a fresh start starting today rather than waiting until tomorrow when things could get worse!
How Much Does A Bankruptcy Lawyer Cost
It’s natural to wonder how much it will cost to hire a bankruptcy lawyer to help you get a fresh start. This article will explain how bankruptcy lawyers charge for their time.
A lawyer’s bill can be influenced by several factors, such as:
- The billing method they use
- How much they charge within that billing method
- How long it takes to finalize your bankruptcy
- How much you will have to pay in related legal expenses, such as filing costs
When it comes to determining how much you will have to pay, the billing method a lawyer uses is just as important as how much he or she charges. Generally speaking, bankruptcy attorneys use one of two billing methods: either an hourly fee or a flat fee. Learn more about how bankruptcy attorneys get paid.
No matter which billing method your lawyer prefers, you are bound to have additional, outside expenses to pay related to your bankruptcy filing. Additional expenses may include:
- Court filing fees
- Attorney travel expenses
- Paralegal fees
There may be room for negotiating a bankruptcy attorney’s legal fees. However, you must ask about this before you hire someone, usually when you are still in the interview phase of your search. Once you hire a lawyer, it is too late to renegotiate the fees.
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What Factors Can Increase Fees
Certain factors can increase your Ohio bankruptcy costs regardless of where you are located in the state, the attorney you hire, or the complexity of your case. These factorsinclude:
- Cases involving both personal and business bankruptcies at the same time
- If you have more than one source of income.
- You are earning anything higher than Ohios average income for your households size.
- An individual with a large number of creditors.
- You had filed for other bankruptcy cases in the last eight years.
- Stopping a legal action such as a bank levy, eviction, and repossession of property that was used as loan collateral.
- You are being suspected or accused of fraud.
- You have debts such as student loans, past-due taxes, child support, or any other non-dischargeable debts.
How Much Will It Cost To Hire A Nyc Bankruptcy Attorney
Legal fees vary from attorney to attorney. However, you should know a few things. First, all bankruptcy attorneys are required to report their legal fees charged for each case to the US Trustee. If the fee is too high they may be required to refund it to the client. Second, many bankruptcy firms, like my own, charge flat fees and accept flexible payment plans.
For any bankruptcy case I offer free consultations. If a person wishes to hire my office I require $500 up front and any remainder is determined on a case-by-case basis. For $500 I can take calls from your creditors, pull your credit report and public records information, begin preparing and sometimes even file your case. My fees for a Chapter 7 usually range from $1,000 to $4,000 depending on the complexity of the case. Larger offices often charge up to $10,000 for a consumer Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If you live in New York and are interested a free bankruptcy consultation please call 212-244-2882 anytime. The Law Office of William Waldner only practices Bankruptcy Law and is always here to help you.
This article is intended for educational purposes only. By reading this article no attorney-client relationship has been created.
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How Much Does A Lawyer Charge For Chapter 7
Depending on your case, the total cost of filing bankruptcy might include attorney fees.
Know that you always have the right to for bankruptcy protection pro se – on your own without a bankruptcy attorney. And our free online tool helps qualifying low-income filers through the bankruptcy process. However, no matter your situation, it isn’t a bad idea to meet with a bankruptcy lawyer for a free consultation.
Flat Fees vs. Hourly Fees
Most attorneys handle Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases on a flat fee. This means that they charge a set amount up-front for the legal services involved in preparing and filing a Chapter 7 case. An attorney-client agreement should list what legal services the flat fee covers and explain what to expect if something happens that isnât covered by the flat fee.
The benefit to the flat fee option is that barring unforeseen situations you’ll know from the start exactly how much your bankruptcy attorney fees will cost. The alternative to charging a flat fee is charging an hourly fee. The hourly rate should also be included in a written agreement between the attorney and client. It’s possible, but rare, for a bankruptcy law firm to bill hourly attorney fees for filing a Chapter 7 consumer bankruptcy.
Amount of Attorney Fees
To give you an idea of what you might pay, the national average for Chapter 7 attorney fees is somewhere around $1,500.
Cost Of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is pretty cut and dry. Courts within judicial districts have set guidelines for what Bankruptcy Attorneys can charge. Those charges, otherwise called attorney fees, are built into the Chapter 13 debt consolidation plan. Before filing bankruptcy, you should only be responsible to pay for court costs and small portion of the attorney fees. Pre-filing cost out of pocket should be less than $500. However, we always recommend asking for the exact amount while talking to your attorney in person.
Get your Free No-Obligation Consultation
How can you pay for a bankruptcy attorneys services? The simplest and cheapest way to receive this answer is to get your one-time, no obligation, and free consultation with a Debt Advisors attorney. During your consultation, well gather general idea of your financial situation, and answer all of your questions. We are transparent about our fees and we never turn someone away who needs our services.
If during this consultation you chose to hire a Debt Advisors bankruptcy attorney, the retainer fee can cost as little as $100.
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How Much Does It Cost To File Bankruptcy In Texas
Bankruptcy allows indebted consumers and businesses to make a fresh start.
However, this start will come at a price.
At Simer & Tetens, we receive many calls from the public, and one common question is, How much does it cost to file for bankruptcy?
Below, our experienced Texas bankruptcy attorneys review the costs to file bankruptcy.
How Much Does It Cost To File Bankruptcy In Las Vegas
Everyone considering filing for bankruptcy wants to know how much it would cost.
You may want to be aware of the following costs and expenses:
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Why Bankruptcy Attorney Fees Are Worth It
It may seem difficult to find extra funds in this time of distress, but payment plans can be arranged. For those people who have decided to file for bankruptcy, Milwaukee bankruptcy attorney Steven R. McDonald can provide you with specific strategies to reduce or eliminate some of your monthly bills and payments. This is one of many reasons why a lawyer is the best bet for getting your bankruptcy discharge.
Criteria To Choose Attorney
Choose your attorney based upon the combination of state bar qualifications, fees, bankruptcy specific experience, client reviews, convenience, your comfort-level with them. There are fraudulent businesses out there including law firms and non-profits. Be sure to get quotes during your first meeting. In a nutshell, bankruptcy lawyers in Wisconsin will expect a small retainer fee, then fees from that point will be charged either by the hour or as a flat rate per case. Often times, the attorneys who have flat fees will charge that for the bulk of the case, then charge hourly for additional required work.
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Watch Out For Bankruptcy Mills
You should be aware that some bankruptcy providers make money by churning through as many bankruptcy petitions as possible. The law firms providing this type of service may not have the time to answer all of your questions or give your case the individualized attention it needs. One way to spot this type of operation is by finding out who works on your case. If a paralegal does the work and is your only real source of contact, you may have hired a bankruptcy mill.
In any case, it is a good idea to call several bankruptcy attorneys in your area to find out which attorney meets your needs the best.
|Take our bankruptcy quiz to identify potential issues and learn how to best proceed with your bankruptcy case.|
When Bankruptcy Attorneys Offer Reduced Fees
If your income is low enough to qualify for a waiver of the bankruptcy filing fee , you might be able to find an attorney who will handle your case at a reduced rate. Chapter 7 cases for very low-income filers usually involve a limited amount of property and few creditors, and therefore minimal work for the lawyer. In our survey, readers who were unemployed when they filed bankruptcy reported paying attorneys’ fees of about $250 less than the average.
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Chapter 13 Court Filing Fee
The Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fee is $313. Fee waivers are not available in Chapter 13 cases. Chapter 13 cases require that the filer have disposable income to make monthly plan payments to the trustee. Not being able to pay the filing fee would make it hard for the court to believe that a Chapter 13 repayment plan can be proposed in good faith.
You can ask the court to pay the filing fee in installments.
Average Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
Under Chapter 13, youll work with the Trustee to create a payment plan for your debts. The plan will last for three to five years and at the end of it, your remaining unsecured debt is discharged. Unlike under Chapter 7, local bankruptcy law usually sets the presumptively reasonable attorney fees for Chapter 13 cases. If the attorney charges the presumptively reasonable fee, the Court wont look into the charges unless you specifically request it.
Presumptively reasonable fees vary based on the complexity of your case. Nationally, the average is around $3,000, but each bankruptcy district has its own standards and rules. In San Francisco, for example, the presumptively reasonable attorney fee is $3,500 for the basic case, plus anywhere from $500 to $1,500 extra for various issues that add complexity to the case. In the eastern district of North Carolina, its $3,700 plus extra fees for complications. In central Alabama, the presumptively reasonable fee is $2,750, and any extra fees will be examined by the court.
For Chapter 13 cases, attorneys generally charge a certain fee up front. Some attorneys will charge only the filing fee and others will want a larger down payment. Youll pay the rest of your attorney fee through the Chapter 13 plan. Youll make your regular plan payments to the Bankruptcy Trustee every month and the Trustee will pay the appropriate portion to your lawyer.
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Average Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
Most Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys will base their fees on how complicated your case is and what other attorneys in the area would charge for a similar bankruptcy. If you have a lot of assets or debt, you might pay more than an unemployed person with no assets.
In general, attorney fees for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy range from $1,000 to $3,500 depending on the complexity of the case. Larger firms with more advertising and overhead costs sometimes charge more than a solo practitioner, but not always. Some larger operations offer low fees and count on a higher volume of cases. Also, you might find a solo practitioner will cost more but offer more personalized service. It will depend on the office.
You can expect a newer attorney to charge less than a more experienced lawyer, and if your case is a simple Chapter 7, you might not need an attorney with years of experience. Keep in mind, however, that bankruptcy is a specialized area of law and that most attorneys who don’t regularly practice bankruptcy won’t accept a bankruptcy case.
When shopping around for a bankruptcy lawyer, call at least a few attorneys in your area. Compare their fees and ask if bankruptcy is an area they specialize in, as well as the number of cases they file each month.
Find out more in What to Look for in a Bankruptcy Lawyer.
Can I File For Chapter 7 Multiple Times
Be forewarned that if you file a Chapter 7 case and its dismissed, you can file again, but its unlikely that youll get the full protection of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code again. Repeat filers dont get the automatic Chapter 7 stay. On that basis, creditors are still able to pursue what is owed to them while your case is pending, including lawsuits for collection and garnishments.
An experienced and dedicated bankruptcy lawyer will be prepared for any legal issues that might arise during the course of your bankruptcy. The chances of something going wrong with your bankruptcy case will drastically diminish.
Thats why a seasoned bankruptcy attorney will charge more than somebody who just passed the bar exam and is working for a bankruptcy mill. While a cheap bankruptcy mill might look appealing, you might end up paying for their mistakes in the long run.
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Higher Income And Assets Can Mean Higher Attorneys’ Fees
Your attorney may charge you a higher fee if any of the following statements are true about your income or property :
- You make more than the median income in your state for your households size.
- You have multiple sources of income.
- You have a retirement account or a pension plan.
- Youre filing a business bankruptcy .
- Your case is an “asset case” .
- You have equity in your house, car, or other assets .
- You want to keep more property than you can exempt in bankruptcy under your states exemption statutes.
In our survey, readers in households with more than $6,000 in income per month reported paying average attorneys’ fees of $300 more than the overall average.