What does a bankruptcy cost? This is a common question asked by not only persons who contact my office but is a commonly search term by those investigating the possibility of filing bankruptcy. Many bankruptcy attorneys understandably, will not discuss the cost of a bankruptcy before they have met with the prospective client, and fully analyzed their case. Any given bankruptcy is either slightly or dramatically different from any other given bankruptcy.
Therefore, it may be difficult and inappropriate to quote a cost for bankruptcy without a full understanding of the issues and problems inherent in a particular bankruptcy filing. However, I will provide a general disclosure of the costs associated with the filing and prosecution of a bankruptcy.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, most bankruptcy attorneys in the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, will charge anywhere from $800 to $2,000 in attorney fees. This is the total attorney fees that are usually charged for standard representation in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If additional issues arise in the Chapter 7 that require additional effort on the part of the bankruptcy attorney, the costs can increase. For example, if a debtor in a Chapter 7 is sued by a creditor pursuant to an adversary proceeding, the attorney can either settle the adversary proceeding with the creditor or defend the debtor against the creditor in the adversary proceeding. If the attorney settles with the creditor, the cost in bankruptcy fees is usually minimal. However, if the attorney defends the adversary proceeding, the attorney may charge anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 depending upon the complexity and experience of the bankruptcy attorney.
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court will generally award, as of May, 2017, a total of $4,250 in attorney fees for representation. Most bankruptcy attorneys will charge a fee before the filing of the bankruptcy of anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000. Upon the confirmation of the Chapter 13 plan, the bankruptcy judge will generally award the difference to the bankruptcy attorney. Such costs are paid to the bankruptcy attorney through the debtor’s payments pursuant to the Chapter 13 plan.
In addition, the filing fee in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $335 and for a Chapter 13, the filing fee is $310 (as of May, 2017).
This is a general overview of the costs associated with bankruptcy. Although I have been practicing bankruptcy law since 1993 and am considered one of the more knowledgeable and experienced bankruptcy attorneys within my District, my costs tend to be lower than most other bankruptcy attorneys. Many of my clients come from referrals from my clients family and friends, and from other attorneys. In addition, because I only practice bankruptcy law, I am able to enjoy certain cost savings that I pass to my clients.
If you are considering whether to file bankruptcy, please contact my office directly at 1-800-407-3328 DEBT) or through my website at www.jayweller.com. I will speak with you personally to discuss your case, and will discuss any costs associated with the filing and continuation of the bankruptcy.
Picture Credit: Oleg Magni