Whether you hire an attorney or file bankruptcy on your own, you’ll have to pay the court for the right to have your case heard. The fees for filing bankruptcy vary based on the chosen type, but they are nationally standardized and enforced by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
When filing for personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13, a person needs to pay a filing fee and an administrative fee. Additionally, a trustee fee of $15 is required for Chapter 7 cases. This fee helps cover the cost of the court-appointed administrator who manages the case, and the trustee earns a percentage of the debtor’s asset sales. In Chapter 13 filings, there is no separate surcharge for the trustee. Instead, the trustee receives a percentage of the monthly repayment amount that the debtor pays to their creditors as per the repayment plan.
While individuals can still file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it is mostly used by businesses to restructure their debts. Compared to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, Chapter 11 is much more expensive even though it is an option for personal bankruptcy. Additionally, the other types of filings are typically faster and less costly. Typically, you need to pay the filing fees at the time of filing the bankruptcy petition paperwork with the court for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases.
If you are unable to pay all of the fees at once or in full, you can ask the court to allow you to pay them in parts or even waive them based on your situation. For Chapter 11 filing fees, you need to pay the first $400 within five business days, followed by two more $400 payments within 60 and 90 days, and then the final payment of $538 no later than 120 days from when you filed the petition. If a party in a concluded bankruptcy case has a new question or issue that they want to bring before the court, the case may be re-opened and an additional fee may be charged, which is usually the same amount as the original filing fee.
What Is A Filing Fee?
A filing fee is a payment required by the court to process and hear your bankruptcy case. The amount of the fee varies depending on which type of bankruptcy you file for, though all fees are set by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and must be paid in full before your case can be heard. In some cases, if you cannot pay the entire fee upfront, you may be able to make installment payments or have the fee waived. The fees are non-refundable regardless of the outcome of your case.
It’s important to understand that filing fees are separate from attorney fees or other miscellaneous costs associated with filing for bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy court filing fees are used to fund the court system and its associated staff, so it’s important to pay them in full and on time in order for your case to be heard. It’s also important to remember that, while bankruptcy can offer a fresh start financially, there will still be costs associated with the process and these must be paid before you can get a discharge of your debts.
These fees are an important part of the bankruptcy process and should not be overlooked when calculating bankruptcy costs. It’s important to understand what fees will be due in order to properly budget for the process and ensure that you are able to complete it successfully. Knowing all the costs associated with filing for bankruptcy will help you make the best decision for your financial situation and ensure a smooth bankruptcy process.
Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
Bankruptcy attorneys charge a varied amount depending on the complexity of the case and the location of the court. Lawyers charge for their time, so a more complicated case will naturally cost more to resolve. It is important to keep in mind that fees can also differ between states and judicial districts.
What is the average fee charged by attorneys for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
It is currently unclear what the exact cost of attorney fees for Chapter 7 cases is. The study found an average national cost of $1,450. However, as of 2022, no similar study has been conducted to provide a more current figure. Some recent data provide a range of possible costs that could be higher or lower than the 2016 figure, depending on the source.
The National Bankruptcy Forum, an organization of consumer bankruptcy lawyers, reports that the typical cost for an attorney to handle a Chapter 7 case is $1,250. However, some sources suggest that the fee can range from $1,500 to $2,500 with some cases costing as much as $3,500.
The cost of filing a case varies depending on the location. Generally, bankruptcy lawyer fees are higher in large cities compared to small rural towns. According to recent research by the National Bankruptcy Forum, for a Chapter 7 attorney in Los Angeles, the cost ranges from $1,500 to $2,000, while in New York, it ranges from $1,000 to $2,200.
For a straightforward Chapter 7 filing, most attorneys charge a flat fee that remains the same no matter how many hours they spend on your case. It’s important to note that this fee will need to be paid upfront before the attorney can file your case. Keep in mind that every case is unique, and various factors may impact the final cost.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
For a simple case, the cost would be lower, but for a complex Chapter 11 case an individual could end up paying up to $50,000 or even more than $100,000.
Chapter 11 bankruptcies involve two steps (pre-confirmation and post-confirmation) and require debt reorganization instead of asset liquidation, making the process complex and lengthy. As a result, attorneys usually charge hourly fees instead of a flat rate. This is why individuals or couples filing for Chapter 11 find it expensive.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
The average attorney fee for a Chapter 13 case can vary widely. According to a Martindale-Nolo study from 2016, the average cost was $3,000, but it ranged from $2,000 to $5,000. However, it is hard to find reliable recent information about the national average. Some sources suggest that the current average is between $3,000 and $3,500, with some attorneys charging up to $6,000.
Fees for Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases differ depending on the district where the case is filed. The bankruptcy court in each district sets the fees and establishes “presumptively reasonable” attorney fees, which are based on the complexity of the case. For instance, the National Bankruptcy Forum reports that in 2021, the presumptively reasonable attorney fee for a straightforward case in San Francisco was $3,500, whereas, in central Alabama, it was $2,750.
Lawyers usually charge a fee that falls within a reasonably anticipated range. If the fee is equal to or below the local standard, it is known as a “no-look” fee because the judge does not need to examine it. However, if the fee goes beyond the established limit, the court may intervene and order the lawyer to refund some or all of the extra amount.
In a Chapter 13 case, lawyers usually ask for a partial fee before submitting the petition. The remaining fee is included in the repayment plan approved by the court, and the bankruptcy trustee will allocate a portion of your regular payments to your attorney.
The cost of a simple bankruptcy filing can increase due to various factors. If the case becomes more complicated and requires court appearances, attorneys may charge higher fees.
The fees may increase due to various factors including:
-The complexity of the case
– The size of the estate
– The amount of debt involved
– The number of creditors
– The number of assets to be liquidated or reorganized
– The amount of time required by the attorney to prepare and present the case
– The geographical area in which the case is filed
In addition to attorney fees, there are other costs associated with bankruptcy filings, including a filing fee, mandatory credit counseling, and debtor education classes. These additional costs vary depending on the type of bankruptcy you are filing for and the state in which you are filing. It is important to be aware of all these costs upfront so that you can budget for them and make sure you have the funds available to cover the full cost of filing for bankruptcy.
A fee waiver can be requested if you cannot afford to pay the filing fee. In some cases, the court may grant a waiver of all fees associated with filing for bankruptcy. To qualify for a waiver, you must prove to the court that you have limited assets and income. If you get court approval, the entire filing fee will be waived. It is important to note that even if your fee waiver request is approved, you will still need to pay all other costs associated with filing for bankruptcy, such as attorney fees and credit counseling courses.
Best Bankruptcy Attorney in San Diego, CA
At Joshi Law Group in San Diego, our law firm strives to provide a stress-free environment to make the bankruptcy process as easy and comfortable as possible. We understand that declaring bankruptcy, or filing a bankruptcy petition, can be an overwhelming and emotional experience, so a bankruptcy attorney is here to help you every step of the way, through the entire process. Our goal is to ensure that you have all the information needed to make an informed decision and that your bankruptcy case is handled efficiently and professionally.
Our law firm believes in providing each client in their best interests with personalized legal advice, and credit counseling, as all financial difficulties are unique. An experienced bankruptcy attorney at our law firm will work with you to come up with the best legal options and bankruptcy solutions available to you with a possible payment plan for certain financial situations, and then guide you through the entire process.
Pick up the phone and dial 619-822-7566 for a consultation at no cost (without legal fees such as attorney fees) with a qualified San Diego bankruptcy attorney at Joshi Law Group!
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does filing for bankruptcy cost?
The cost of filing for bankruptcy varies depending on the type of bankruptcy and the state in which it is filed. Generally, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies have a filing fee of between $300 to $750, plus other costs such as mandatory credit counseling courses and attorney fees.
Can I get a fee waiver for my bankruptcy case?
Yes, a fee waiver might be available through your bankruptcy court. To qualify for a fee waiver, you must prove to the court that you have limited assets and income. If your request is approved, the entire filing fee will be waived. It is important to note that even if your fee waiver request is granted, all other costs associated with filing for bankruptcy, such as attorney fees and credit counseling courses, must still be paid.
When do I need to pay my attorney fees?
Most will ask for a partial fee before the attorney files the bankruptcy paperwork. The remaining fee is usually included in the repayment plan that is approved by the court, and the bankruptcy trustee will allocate a portion of your regular payments to your attorney.