Filing and Legal Fees



Consultation

There is no money due at the time of the initial consultation.  You will be asked to bring income, asset and debt information, with the purpose of the consultation being to determine whether you need to file bank- ruptcy and under which chapter you should file.  If bankruptcy is not appropriate, the focus of the consultation is to explore options and to give you direction for coping with your financial problems.

Filing Fees

For Chapter 7 cases, the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court collects a total of $306 filing and administrative fees.  These fees are payable at the time your bankruptcy case is filed. 


Legal Fees

The usual charge for a consumer Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is $1140 if you are single and your income is below-median for your household size.

The usual charge for a consumer Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is $1380 if you are married or your income is above-median for your household size. 
    Occasionally, a particular case is more complex and more costly; however, at the time of your initial consultation, you will be advised in writing the fees and costs for your bankruptcy. You are under no obligation to proceed with the bankruptcy beyond the consultation. If you choose to proceed, all fees are payable before the case is filed - installments are acceptable but all payments must be received before the filing.

    In most cases, persons seeking bankruptcy relief have been trying to pay their debts, including high-interest credit cards, and making little or no progress. Once the decision to file bankruptcy is made, you are advised to stop making payments on all dischargeable debts such as medical bills and credit cards, and to put those funds toward the bankruptcy fees.

    Whatever the cause of the financial problems giving rise to the bankruptcy, the bankruptcy filing should be part of a rehabilitation process, which includes becoming accustomed to paying for goods and services up front, not on credit. The causes giving rise to the bankruptcy filing may include illness, unemployment, divorce, excessive use of credit cards, or even gambling, shopping, drug or alcohol addictions. It is office policy to advise the individual to address the underlying problem in conjunction with filing bankruptcy to help prevent a recurrence of the financial problems two or three years later.

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