What Is The Cost Of Bankruptcy?

When you're facing financial hardship, it can seem impossible to set aside any money, but there will be costs to filing for bankruptcy. Many costs must be paid before your case can be filed.

First, you'll need to pay a court filing fee of $310 or $335, depending on the chapter you file. This can sometimes be paid in installments, breaking up the payments over a few months after you file.

You will also need to take two classes, either online or over the phone. These classes cost about $25 each. In extreme cases, the charges for these classes and the filing fee may be waived, but this is limited to those with very low income.

In addition to these costs, you will want to retain an attorney to help you file your case, so you'll have attorney fees to pay, as well. Bankruptcy prevents your creditors from collecting on your debts, and this would include your bankruptcy attorney if you haven't paid your attorney fee—so your attorney must be paid up front. The fees will vary depending on the chapter you file and the complexity of your case, and different attorneys charge different amounts for the same work. However, as in many situations, hiring the cheapest attorney is not always the best option.

With an experienced, knowledgeable attorney, most bankruptcies proceed relatively smoothly. This does not mean they are simple processes, and filing bankruptcy is a very significant financial decision. You want to make sure it's done right. Mistakes can be very costly and have a huge impact on your financial future. Rather than simply looking at the attorney's fee, you should also consider:

  • their experience
  • the complexity of your case
  • how much you have at stake
  • all the other parties involved in your case

Make sure you're comfortable with the attorney you choose. You'll be working with them for a substantial period of time. These factors will help determine if you're getting good value, rather than just a good price.

Always do extra research on an attorney if their price is substantially lower than all the other attorneys you have talked to. In general, once an attorney has been practicing for a while, they have an idea of what the going rate is, and most come fairly close to that number. If an attorney quotes a much lower price, it could mean that they have not done many bankruptcy cases, or it could mean that much of the work on your case may be done by a paralegal, with minimal work done by an attorney. In either case, you may be able to save some money, but you may not be getting the best value.

Ark Law Group can help you set up a payment plan to pay your attorney fee over time. With an initial $100 retainer, you can let your creditors know you have retained an attorney. This should stop collection calls, and they will speak with us, rather than with you. We work with you to ensure you are able to file your case when you need to.

The attorney's fee for your case will be based largely on the specifics of your case, and how complex it will be. While nobody wants to overpay, you should consider the experience of the attorney, your comfort level with the attorney, and the specifics of your case. Mistakes in bankruptcy can be expensive, so just looking for the cheapest attorney can be a big mistake.

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