The cost of bankruptcy is a question that comes up very often. In fact, sometimes it's the first thing we hear. The cost of bankruptcy depends on the complexity of your case and the kind of bankruptcy that you're going to wind up doing. What we do is offer a free consultation to determine your budget, your income, and your expenses, and the kind of bankruptcy that's right for you.

The reason for filing for bankruptcy is to stop something from happening usually, whether it's a lawsuit or judgment or wage garnishment or repossession of a car or foreclosure. Sometimes, you might want one kind of bankruptcy but you only qualify for another. And sometimes, you need only one kind of relief, like you're trying to stop foreclosure on your house, which we will dictate that you really need to do a Chapter 13.

Generally, if we talk about Chapter 7s, which are about 85% of the bankruptcies that are filed, it can be between $1,000 and $2,000, depending on the complexity of your case. The more complicated cases are the ones where there have been transfers out of your name to friends and relatives, where you've been moving assets around before you asked an attorney, you've been giving gifts, or you're running a business with multiple properties, multiple real estates, and transactions (a lot of people are self-employed).

These can complicate your bankruptcy and therefore, make it more expensive. In essence, the lawyer charges for their time, and the more time a lawyer is going to spend in understanding your situation and unraveling, making changes to your situation so it fits the bankruptcy mold, so it allows you to go through bankruptcy successfully. So the more changes that need to be made to your life in preparation for bankruptcy, the more expensive it's going to be.

There is also a filing fee for the court. Right now, it's $306. For a Chapter 13, it's $276. That's just the court costs. There are usually small components of credit counseling courses and credit reporting, downloading, things like that, and some lawyers charge $20-40.

It really is something you need to contact your attorney, come in for your free consultation. For example, in our case, when you come in, I'll sit down for free. We'll spend the whole hour. We don't push you, we don't sell you, we just tell you how it is. Hopefully, you can see the value in it!


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