WHAT IS THE COST OR LEGAL FEES FOR CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY?
Answer: Around $1,500 for Chapter 7 for a single petitioner, or $2,000 for a couple.
Court Filing Fee is $335, paid to the bankruptcy court. This is not an attorney fee and is not included in the price above. Since the attorney pays it initially you can negotiate a reimbursement date – usually to be paid back by the creditors meeting.
Attorney fees can be lower or higher depending on the complexities of the situation but they are rarely under $1200 or over $2500. Factors that can lead to a higher fee, for example: an active garnishment, foreclosure, seizure, or something requiring immediate action.
Don’t choose an attorney by the lowest fee
Unlike divorce where many attorneys can bilk a client, a Chapter 7 is fairly standard fare and most attorneys are in the same ballpark and charge a flat fee. Thus you should choose an attorney with experience, for bankruptcy laws are complex and the attorney needs to know all the local rules and all the habits of his local trustees; only experience can provide this. To hire someone straight out of law school to learn from your case to save a few hundred dollars is not worth it.
Additional costs are nominal:
- Classes are inexpensive, most under $20
- Homestead deed filing: $21
- Adding creditors after you filed: $26 (unlimited amount)
- Credit reports: many are free online