Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Taxes & Financial Planning > Personal Bankruptcy

Personal Bankruptcy Cost


How Much Does Personal Bankruptcy Cost?

 
low costLow: An Attorney Handling a Straightforward Chapter 7 Can Start $600-$1,000average costMedium: An Attorney Handling a Chapter 13 Can Run $1,200-$3,500+
post E-mail post Post  

Bankruptcy laws are intended to give a fresh start to people who can't pay their debts. Often referred to as a consumer bankruptcy, a personal bankruptcy is a legal process in which the court administers the property and other assets (referred to as the estate) of an individual or a married couple (the debtor) for the benefit of creditors. The most common types of personal bankruptcy are Chapter 7 -- a straight bankruptcy for those who have little or no hope of repaying their debts (there are eligibility requirements) -- and Chapter 13 (sometimes called "wage earner bankruptcy") -- is a reorganization process allows someone with a steady income some "breathing room" to keep their assets while setting up a plan to repay a portion or all of their debt.

Typical costs:

  • Bankruptcy attorneys may charge a flat fee for specific services or an hourly rate of $100-$300 or more. Some require payment in full in advance while others may accept a lower advance fee plus installment payments.
  • Hiring an attorney to handle a straightforward Chapter 7 personal liquidation bankruptcy starts around $600-$1,000 for some attorneys in low-cost locations, but elsewhere averages $1,000-$3,000 and up, depending on the facts of the case.
  • Hiring an attorney to handle a Chapter 13 personal reorganization bankruptcy runs about $1,200-$3,500 and up, depending on location and circumstances. Some of the legal fees for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be paid in installments as part of the bankruptcy payment plan required under Chapter 13.
  • The bankruptcy court filing fee is $299 for Chapter 7 and $274 for Chapter 13, but (depending on your location and circumstances) you might be eligible to apply to pay the fee in installments or have it waived.
Related articles: Business Bankruptcy Attorney, Tax Attorney, Credit Report, Financial Planner, Tax Returns

What should be included:
  • In most cases, bankruptcies are filed in federal district court; bankruptcy cases cannot be filed in state courts. Federal bankruptcy law is organized into chapters that govern specific types of bankruptcy proceedings. Debtors may file for straight bankruptcy under Chapter 7, which liquidates certain assets and discharges[1] (eliminates) any debts; or for a reorganization bankruptcy under Chapter 13, which creates a plan to repay the debts over time. Creditors can force a debtor into an involuntary bankruptcy[2] under Chapter 7, but Chapter 13 bankruptcy is purely voluntary. USCourts.gov outlines bankruptcy basics[3] for the different kinds of bankruptcies, as well as a glossary[4] of common bankruptcy terms.
  • The bankruptcy process generally takes about 4-6 months, although it varies depending on circumstances. State law does apply to some aspects of the consumer bankruptcy process, and requirements vary. Lawyers.com summarizes consumer bankruptcy laws[5] by state.
  • Bankruptcy is an extremely complicated process. BankruptcyVisuals.com offers charts[6] of the standard procedures for Chapter 7 and 13.
Additional costs:
  • The American Bar Association sells a Guide to Credit & Bankruptcy[7] for consumers for $16.95.
Discounts:
  • You can cut costs a bit by not having your lawyer attend the meeting of creditors with you; check with your attorney to see if this is a viable option in your state.
Shopping for personal bankruptcy:
  • Ask potential bankruptcy attorneys about their training and experience, and request references from a bank, other lawyers and several certified public accountants who have worked with that attorney. Lawyers.com offers tips for selecting[8] a bankruptcy attorney and then preparing[9] to meet and meeting with a bankruptcy attorney.
  • Search the American Board of Certification[10] for attorneys certified as specialists in business bankruptcy, consumer bankruptcy and creditors' rights law. Bankruptcy lawyer referrals are also available from Lawyers.com[11] and FindLaw.com[12] .
  • Your attorney should provide you with a written fee agreement. Be sure you understand what you will owe, and when.
post E-mail post Post  
CostHelper News


3 Ways to Have the Government Pay You Back for Your Energy Efficient Upgrades
Any renovations or upgrades made to your home this year that included energy-efficient appliances could be eligible for some federal energy tax credits. But it's not just appliances. || Posted December 9 2013


7 Lesser-Known Discounts for the 50+ Crowd
As they age, members of the Baby Boomer generation don't like to admit that they're senior citizens, but they love getting discounts. It's kind of a quandary, because some of the best deals available are reduced prices for older folks. || Posted October 21 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments


 

Comment On Your Experience With Personal Bankruptcy
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  * total
Law Firm:   
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics/DischargeInBankruptcy.aspx
  2.  bankruptcy.lawyers.com/commercial-bankruptcy/Facing-Involuntary-Bankruptcy.html
  3.  www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics.aspx
  4.  www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics/Glossary.aspx
  5.  bankruptcy.lawyers.com/consumer-bankruptcy/Bankruptcy-Law-In-Your-State.html
  6.  www.bankruptcyvisuals.com/viewcharts.html
  7.  www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources.html
  8.  bankruptcy.lawyers.com/Bankruptcy-Basics/Selecting-a-Good-Bankruptcy-Lawyer.html
  9.  bankruptcy.lawyers.com/Bankruptcy-Basics/Preparing-to-Meet-with-a-Bankruptcy-Lawyer.html
  10.  www.abcworld.org/whycertified/
  11.  www.lawyers.com/bankruptcy/find-law-firms-by-location/
  12.  lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practice/Bankruptcy-Law
More Personal Finance Topics
Check Out All Costs for Personal Finance How Much Does a Traffic Ticket Attorney Cost? How Much Do Funeral Flowers Cost? How Much Do Tax Returns Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com



Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
Cost of Comprehensive Treatment for 14 yr old
Paid: 6095.00
Consult & Records $225. Treatment, $5870, Ins. pays $1000, $974 down, $163 X 24 mos. Braces for 2 years, price includes two year while wearing braces and two additional years of follow up/maintenance... [more]
-TexasT
Braces Cost
declawing
Paid: 0.00
I had to have my Calico kittie declawed at 7 yrs old due to she was scratching everything but the scratching posts I had. She did fine..this was in 1994..so she was cut..no laser..she lived to be 18 years old with no behavior problems... [more]
-M.H.
Cat Declawing Cost
Price of 40 gal ELECTRIC hot water heater purchased at Lowes
Paid: 238.00
promised 2.5- 3 hrs. But, billed me at 3.5 x 85.00, plus cost of unit; so, $238 new Lowes Whirlpool, and $322 for labor/install= 560 total in Wilm NC to one bedroom condo, second floor... [more]
-daniel, rental condos
Replacing a Water Heater Cost
1st Tattoo
Paid: 0.00
I want a tattoo of 5 small birds and then "Forever in my Heart" under my left collarbone... [more]
-Cheyenne
Tattoo Cost
Molar Filling + Pulp Cap
Paid: 205.00
Cavity was almost to the root and would have required a root canal if I waited any longer. Paid $205 to a discount dentist (I qualified for 40% off since I am an adult on Medicaid)... [more]
-Beth in Reno
Cavity Filling Cost
Hernia Repair
Paid: 600.00
Repaired my umbilical hernia with 3 stitches. Tear was not large enough for a mesh. Total cost before insurance was about $6000. My out of pocket was around $600 since I hadn't met my deductible. Two days off work... [more]
-James_H
Hernia Repair Cost