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Cost to File Bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy is a stressful experience. Finding an experienced bankruptcy attorney to assist you should not be.  Concerns that most people have when considering bankruptcy is “What does it cost to file for bankruptcy and how am I going to pay for a bankruptcy?”

What does it cost to file for bankruptcy?

With regard to the first concern:  My philosophy in setting a fee for a bankruptcy filing is that bankruptcy is not a “one size fits all” area of practice. However, my fee structure is very straightforward and is based on the estimated complexity of each particular client’s case.

First things first – The fee for a bankruptcy filing will of course depend on whether you file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  A Chapter 7 costs $335.00 for the filing fee and a Chapter 13 costs $310.00 for the filing fee.  The cost of the bankruptcy attorney fee is in addition to the filing fee charged by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and is discussed below.  Whether you need Chapter 7 bankruptcy help or Chapter 13 bankruptcy help,  don't shortchange the valuable legal experience available to ensure your assets are protected and financial goals reached.  You can read more about the differences between Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy on this website.

In addition, before filing for bankruptcy,  you are required to take a credit counseling course. The courses are taken online or over the telephone.   Credit counseling courses are offered in other languages beside English.  The least expensive course is only $5, and can be found at this website:

http://www.justice.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/cc_approved.htm

Also, after filing for bankruptcy, you must take a course in personal financial management, again online or over the phone. The post filing course costs as little as $10.


A Word About the Means Test

Whether you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is determined by the Means Test. The means test is based upon the last six calendar months (prior to the expected filing date) of your gross income, including your spouse’s income, as well as any other sources of income, other than Social Security. If your overall gross income (including your spouse, if applicable), is below the median income for Indiana, you will pass the means test which will allow you to go forward as a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you are above the median income in the State of Indiana, your eligibility to file for Chapter 7 will be determined by deducting from your income certain standard expenses (as determined by the Internal Revenue Service) as well as other expenses specific to your situation, such as your mortgage payment.  If you pass that extended test, you may go forward as a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  In both cases, you still must show that you are spending pretty much all of the income (excluding Social Security benefits) that is coming into the household.

I will perform a means test analysis for you at no charge. This way, you will know if you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy before any fees are paid.


Bankruptcy Attorney’s Fees for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing.

I will gladly give you an idea of what it will cost you to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, below is a formula of what the fee would be. The fee in your case will depend on the specific facts of your situation. The bankruptcy attorney fee is in addition to the court filing fee ($335.00).

Fee Schedule for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing:

Basic Attorney Fee                                                                                  $800.00

  •             Joint Filing with spouse                +                          $100.00
  •             Above median income                    +                          $100.00
  •             Stop Pending Lawsuits
  •             Requires Notice of Bankruptcy     +                       $  25.00 per suit
  •             Reaffirmation/Motion to
  •             Avoid Judicial Liens
  •             (not requiring a hearing)               +                        $  50.00 per instance
  •             Amendments to add Creditors     +                        $ 100.00 (court charges $30.00)

I reserve the right to charge additional fees based on work required for complicated, unusual or unexpected events or for situations that I was not informed of prior to being retained for the case.  In addition, representation in Adversary Actions are not included in the basic bankruptcy attorney fee.


All Chapter 7 bankruptcy fees must be paid prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition.  Absent an executed post-petition fee agreement for post-petition attorney bankruptcy services to be rendered, bankruptcy attorneys that accept payments for attorney fees after the filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy are violating the automatic stay and potentially the discharge injunction provisions of the Bankruptcy Code.  Attorney fees owed in a Chapter 7 case  based upon a contract executed before you file bankruptcy are no different than any other dischargeable, pre-petition debt – that is, they are discharged and cannot be collected once the case is filed.


Attorney’s Fees for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Filing in Indiana

My standard fee for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is $4,000.00.  Of this fee, as low as $0.00 is paid (that's right NO MONEY DOWN RETAINER) prior to the bankruptcy filing. The entire unpaid balance of the attorney’s fee is paid back as part of your Chapter 13 repayment plan. The retainer (payment of attorney fees prior to the bankruptcy filing) will be more if you do not want to or cannot be on a voluntary wage withholding order to fund your Chapter 13 repayment plan, or if you have had a prior bankruptcy dismissed within the last twelve months, or if you are requesting emergency filing service.  However, the overall fee remains the same, except that representation in Adversary Actions are not included in the basic attorney fee.  Removal of junior mortgages from real estate adds $500.00 per removal to the attorney fee.

If you live in Howard County, Marion County, IN or the surrounding areas, and are considering bankruptcy, please feel free to call me at (317) 271-1111 or (765) 868-0807 to discuss your situation. 


We are a debt relief agency. OUR DEBT RELIEF LAWYERS help people file for bankruptcy under the united States bankruptcy code. IF YOU NEED DEBT RELIEF, OUR LAWYERS ARE READY TO HELP.

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