Sometimes in life, some of us have to make serious decisions when finding ourselves in a difficult financial situation. With money already tight, bankruptcy fees can be intimidating when you are already faced with significant financial hardship. The first question on anyone’s mind would be “how much does bankruptcy Chapter 7 cost”? Well to answer this simply, when filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, filing fees are around $335.
If you’re considering seeking bankruptcy protection in Kentucky, it’s important to understand what may be required of you throughout the process. The Kentucky bankruptcy lawyers at O’Bryan Law Offices have considerable experience helping consumers and businesses file for bankruptcy. To find out more about the process, or to have legal help when you file, schedule a free consultation with us. Call our office at 502-339-0222 or fill out our online intake form today.
What Does It Cost to File for Bankruptcy?
When asking the question of what the cost to file bankruptcy is, a person must first decide what kind of bankruptcy they will need to file, as well as choose a bankruptcy lawyer. There are three main bankruptcy options, which are:
On a national average, bankruptcy costs $1500-4000, although Chapter 11 bankruptcy legal fees can cost up to approximately $19,000. You should also keep in mind the filing fee that you will be required to pay as well. Additionally, our attorneys only handle Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. We include Chapter 11 information on this page for educational and comparative purposes.
Bankruptcy Court Filing Fees
When filing a bankruptcy petition, whether representing yourself or hiring a bankruptcy attorney, you will have to pay the court fees for your bankruptcy case to be heard. Thankfully, the fees are standardized nationally by the bankruptcy court, so the bankruptcy court filing fee will only vary based on the type of bankruptcy you choose and are the same in every state. All three types of bankruptcies will require you to pay filing fees and administrative fees. However, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case will also require a $15 bankruptcy trustee fee.
A bankruptcy trustee is a court-appointed person who is put in charge of representing a debtor’s estate during a bankruptcy case. They are in charge of collecting payments, overseeing the case, and reporting back to the bankruptcy court that the debtor is meeting their obligations. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee also makes a percentage from selling off the debtor’s assets in a bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing Fees
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a way to help regain power over your finances and have your unsecured debt (medical bills, personal loans, credit card debt, etc.) legally released by the bankruptcy court. According to the most recent numbers, Chapter 7 fees are:
- Filing fee: $245
- Administrative Fee: $78
- Trustee Fee: $15
- Reopening a Chapter 7 Filing: $245
This bankruptcy is also often referred to as “liquidation bankruptcy” and is the simplest, fastest, and most common type of way to file bankruptcy. These fees listed do not include attorney fees.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing Fees
Chapter 11 bankruptcies are designed for businesses and typically involve large sums of money. The Chapter 11 bankruptcy fees are as follows:
- Filing fee: $1167
- Administrative Fee: $571
- Reopening a Chapter 11 Filing: $1167
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Filing Fees
The court costs for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy are as follows:
- Filing fee: $235
- Administrative Fee: $78
- Reopening a Chapter 13 Filing: $235
What Are the Credit Counseling Course Fees?
There are lots of options to consider when facing potential bankruptcy, one of which is credit counseling. Credit counseling in Kentucky, should you qualify, is a way to manage one’s debt by allowing a professional to look over your finances and point you in the right direction before starting the bankruptcy process. They sometimes can set up payment plans, allowing one to commit to paying the debtors over the course of approximately 3-5 years before filing a bankruptcy petition. There are many pros to credit counseling, which is designed to help you better understand how to get out of your financial situation and how to avoid future occurrences. A few other pros include:
- You can avoid bankruptcy and the derogatory consequences that come with it.
- It is usually a free consultation.
- It teaches one how to save money and budget.
- It can help rebuild credit lost due to past discretions.
- It often creates a payment plan that lumps all debt into one monthly payment with typically a lower interest rate to be paid off in 3-5 years.
Though this may sound like the ideal situation to choose instead of filing for bankruptcy, there are some cons. The credit counselor cannot always get the creditors to agree to a lower sum or interest rate, therefore they will not settle. Also, the debtor must still stick with their budget and pay their payment plans on time.
What Are the Bankruptcy Attorney Fees?
In the wake of watching your finances crumble, it can be daunting to worry about paying bankruptcy attorney fees. Fortunately, in the state of Kentucky, bankruptcy attorney fees average between $1100-$1200. If you need legal aid and would like to discuss potential attorney fees regarding bankruptcy with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, please call O’Bryan Law Offices today at 502-339-0222.
Factors That Affect Bankruptcy Costs for Attorney Fees
No one dealing with a monetary hardship like wants to encounter surprise costs and legal fees. That’s why many other things would need to be factored in that could potentially affect bankruptcy costs for attorney fees. Some of these include:
- Filing bankruptcy for a business as well as a personal one.
- You have multiple income streams.
- You have non-exempt assets.
- You are filing without your spouse or filing jointly with your spouse.
- You have fraud allegations against you or there is a likelihood that bankruptcy fraud was committed.
- You have filed for bankruptcy in the last eight years.
- You earn more than the state’s average income for your household size.
- You have an excessively long list of creditors you owe.
- Trying to stop any other legal action against you such as foreclosure.
- You have non-dischargeable debts like child support, alimony, past due taxes, or student loans.
Bankruptcy attorneys do require payment before service when dealing with chapter 7 cases but often offer a payment plan option. They usually will not take on the case until the attorney fees are paid.
How to Pay for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Aside from working extra hours or trying to raise money on your own to pay for bankruptcy, there are options available for payment plans and credit counseling. There are also options for low-income individuals in some states as well. To see if you qualify in the state of Kentucky regarding filing bankruptcy, please call O’Bryan Law Offices and get legal help today.
Can All Debts Be Eliminated in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
While bankruptcy may seem like the answer to the problems you are facing regarding crippling debt–filing bankruptcy does not eliminate all debt. Any good bankruptcy attorney will advise you that several assets cannot be dismissed in a bankruptcy case, some of which are:
- Child support
- Veteran’s benefits
- Retirement accounts
- Life insurance
- Wages earned once filed
- Social security benefits
- Unemployment benefits
- Monetary awards from a personal injury case
- And more.
When dealing with something so difficult, you really should seek legal assistance to better protect yourself from debt collectors and credit damage. The experienced team of bankruptcy attorneys at O’Bryan Law Offices is ready and waiting to take your call today. Contact our Louisville bankruptcy lawyers today at 502-339-0222 to schedule your free consultation.