What Does It Cost to File for Bankruptcy?

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy you already know that money is tight. It is important to understand the filing fees and attorney fees that accompany a bankruptcy.

Filing Fee

There are two types of bankruptcy filings for most consumers: chapter 7 and chapter 13. The down payment for Chapter 7 depends on the complexity, but generally speaking, half the work is done before the case is filed.  As such, our office usually charges $1,340.00, including court costs, to get the case on file, while the down payment for a Chapter 13 is usually only $500. This is true whether filing as a single person or as a married couple.

Attorney Fee for Chapter 7

When you file under Chapter 7, you’ll generally have to pay up-front. The average attorney fee for a bankruptcy attorney in San Antonio is around $2,000 However, fees vary depending on the complexity of the case the demand for your attorney’s legal services.  Cases involving difficult or novel issues may require a more experienced attorney who may charge more than one who is encountering these issues for the first time.  Usually, a simple “no asset” case costs less than one that would require extensive litigation over potential assets of the estate. At the Packard Law Firm, David Packard is Board Certified to practice Bankruptcy and will charge about $1,900 in fees for a typical Chapter 7 case.

Attorney Fee for Chapter 13

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy cases are, on average, much more complex. They require you to work with a Trustee to create a repayment plan that will last for three to five years. Generally, the attorney will charge a portion of the attorney fee up front and the rest of the attorney fee can be made through the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plan. Like a Chapter 7, Attorney fees in a Chapter 13 can vary, depending on the complexity of the case. However, it is customary for the Packard Law Firm to charge an attorney's fee $3,600 for a typical Chapter 13 case.

Getting Legal Help without having to hire counsel?

It is possible to file “pro se,” that is, without legal representation. It is also possible, if your income is low enough, to obtain free legal aid. However, filing for chapter 13 in particular is complicated and can be confusing. When looking for legal assistance with a bankruptcy, you often get what you pay for. Take this decision seriously and find someone that knows local rules, the overall system, the local trustees, and what kinds of thing the judges care about most. Find someone that you can trust.