During times of financial turmoil, filing for bankruptcy may be the best option available to individuals to get a fresh financial start. However, one of the most common questions among prospective debtors are the costs associated with filing for a bankruptcy. The cost of filing bankruptcy depends on the filing fee, other related fees, and attorney fees.
Bankruptcy Filing Fees and Other Related Fees
Bankruptcy filing fees and costs depend largely on the type of bankruptcy the debtor chooses to file. Whether a debtor decides to file a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, they will be responsible for all fees associated with having their case heard. These fees include:
- A fee for mandatory credit counseling
Within 6 months before filing for either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition, a debtor must participate in pre-bankruptcy credit counseling from an agency approved by the US Trustee’s Office. The credit counselling fee can cost between $15 to $50.
- A filing fee
Typically, the filing fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is due when you file your bankruptcy petition. Fees vary by Court and the filing fee to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in the Middle District of Florida is $338. However, debtors who unable able to afford the lump sum payment may qualify for a fee waiver or may be allowed to pay the fee in installments with court permission. To qualify for a fee waiver, your financial circumstances must be so destitute that you are financially unable to pay the fee in installments, and your income must be below 150% of the Florida poverty guidelines for 2023.Meanwhile, a Chapter 13 debtor is not eligible for a fee waiver or an installment plan to pay her filing fee. Therefore, a Chapter 13 filer must be prepared to pay $313 in the Middle District of Florida to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition.The filing fee can be easily found on the Bankruptcy Court’s website in your jurisdiction if you are not local to the Tampa Bay area.
- A fee for the mandatory debtor education course
A debtor must also participate in a mandatory debtor education course after they files bankruptcy but before they get a discharge in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This course can cost anywhere between $10 to $50 depending on the agency.
Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
Attorney fees depend on the type of bankruptcy the debtor chooses to file. Typically, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is less expensive than a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Subsequently, Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys can cost anywhere between $800 to $2500, depending on the complexity of your case, the type of bankruptcy you chose to file, and the attorney’s reputation and experience.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can cost between $2500 to $4500 or more. This fee is steeper than the fee for a Chapter 7 as it fairly compensates bankruptcy attorneys for all ordinary, necessary, and reasonably foreseeable expenses associated with the intricacies of a Chapter 13 petition.
In Florida, the total cost of filing a bankruptcy largely depends on your individual circumstances. To better navigate the bankruptcy process, and minimize your costs, please do not hesitate to contact Printy Law Firm online or call (813) 434-0649 for a free consultation.