One should consider the costs of bankruptcy in two parts: the attorney’s fees and the court’s costs.
The costs are the court’s filing fee, the credit-report fee and the credit-counseling fees. The court’s costs are fixed and you should reconsider hiring any attorney who is marking up the court’s filing fee. The credit report fee is paid to us, and we pay an outside company to provide this report. We do not mark up this fee. The credit counseling fees are paid to a credit counseling company usually directly from you.
Court’s Filing Fee
The court requires a $306.00 filing fee for processing your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, and $281.00 filing fee for processing your Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition and plan.
Credit Report Fee
We will have to order a bankruptcy-devised credit report for you. The fee for a credit report is $30 if filing as a single person and $50 for a couple. At times, clients ask if they can get the credit report themselves or perhaps they have just obtained one recently. The bankruptcy credit report has many features not found in the type of report given to consumers. For instance, the projected credit score that will be set for you one year from the date you file for bankruptcy is given.
|Filing Status||Chapter 7|
Filing Fee / Credit Report
Filing Fee / Credit Report
|Single Filer||$306 / $30||$281 / $30|
|Married Filers||$306 / $50||$281 / $50|
Total costs for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a single person is $336, which includes court’s filing fee and cost of special bankruptcy credit report.
Total costs for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy as married persons is $356, which includes court’s filing fee and cost of special bankruptcy credit reports.
Total costs for filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy as a single person is $311, which includes court’s filing fee and cost of special bankruptcy credit report.
Total costs for filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy as married persons is $331, which includes court’s filing fee and cost of special bankruptcy credit reports.
As a result of new laws passed by Congress regarding bankruptcy in 2005, the requirement to take credit counseling courses was mandated. All debtors are required to obtain “credit counseling” within 180 days prior to filing their petition and “debtor education” prior to receiving a “discharge” of their debts. The first course is called a “credit-counseling course” and the second course a “debtor education course.” We can not file you petition without a certificate of completion for the first course filed along with the peititon. You can not have your debts discharged successfully, unless you have received a certificate of completion for the second course. To meet that second obligation, you have approximately two months, the period between the 314a meeting of creditors and the would-be discharge, to take the second course. If you do not meet that obligation, you will have your bankruptcy dismissed.
The courses themselves are not difficult and in fact are rather pro forma. When on-line, you are reading and typing answers to questions regarding your debt. The figures do not have to be exact. No one will fact-check your answers. You will also read blocks of text regarding how to manage your money, setting budgets and alternatives to bankruptcy,etc. You do not speak to anyone while taking the course; however, someone is monitoring how long it takes for you to complete the course. If you moved too fast, they will assume you did not read very much. Of course, when taking the course by telephone, a live person will be asking you questions. The courses, on-line or by phone, take about one hour each.
|Pre-Petition (Before the Issuance of a Case Number)||Post Petition (The Minute after You Receive a Case Number)|
|First Course: Credit Counseling Course||Second Course: Debtor Education Course|
|Must take this course before we can file your petition. The certificate is good for six months only.||Must take this course after the 341a Meeting of the Creditors before you receive a discharge. If you do not take the course, the court will dismiss your case.|
Note: Since forgetting to complete your second credit-counseling course will cause a dismissal, we advise you to take the second course before the 341(a) Meeting of Creditors.
Pricing: Because the industry is relatively new, pricing has been hard to pin down. We have seen prices between a high $60 to a low $5. The prices have only gone up at each end of the spectrum. Call us for the latest pricing. As of August 7, 2012, prices are about $10 for each course.
The attorney’s fees are flat, that is, not hourly. Our fees are competitive and we do provide savings in the form of discounts to people who are unemployed, underemployed, very chronically ill and military veterans.