Filing for bankruptcy isn’t free. Nor is it cheap. The cost of filing for bankruptcy really depends on your geographical location. It seems counterintuitive to make people pay for bankruptcy costs especially when they don’t have money right? As the saying goes, there’s really no such thing as a free lunch.
How Much Does it Cost to File for Bankruptcy?
Effective November 1st, 2011, the cost to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $306 and the cost to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy is $1046. However, there are certain guidelines that some people may be eligible to have their filing fees waived. If you’re interested in knowing the exact details, you can go to the UScourts government website to find the exact details. Here’s a brief outline of who’s eligible for the exemption:
- If you’re income is less than 150% of the poverty guidelines based on the latest publication of the US Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) and you’re unable to pay the filing fee in installments, then you’re exempt!
- To compare your income based on the poverty line set by the DHHS, you will use your Total Combined Monthly Income as reported on Line 16 of Schedule I. The spouse is include regardless if you file taxes together unless you’re legally divorced or separated.
- The family size includes the spouse and ANY dependants!
You may be thinking to yourself that $306 isn’t too bad to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but there are attorney fees that need to be paid as well. Although you can file for bankruptcy on your own, it’s recommended that you hire an attorney because the paperwork can be a bit confusing (this is something I’m sure you don’t want to mess up in court.) Your typical out the door cost for filing for bankruptcy will be anywhere from $700-$2000.
Before you consider filing for bankruptcy, there are other debt relief options you want to explore. IF you feel that bankruptcy is right for you, schedule an appointment with several bankruptcy attorneys to see which one you feel most comfortable with. Most attorneys will offer a free consultation.