You’re no doubt thinking of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because you’re overburdened with debt. And yes, taking the step can provide you with the fresh financial start you need – but getting relief from your debts won’t come for free.
When you file for bankruptcy, you have to cover the court fees, course costs and attorney expenses. Altogether, the total you’ll need to pay may be anywhere from several hundred to well over a thousand dollars. Fortunately, if coming up with enough money to pay for all of this seems next to impossible, you may have options for making the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process more affordable.
The filing fees are set by the United States Bankruptcy Court, and for a Chapter 7 claim in 2020, the cost is $335. Typically, the total is due at the time you file your petition.
If your financial situation is dire, you can ask the court to waive the bankruptcy filing fees. To qualify for a fee waiver, your household income must be less than 150 percent of the federal poverty guideline. If you’re not eligible, you may be able to set up an installment plan, giving you the opportunity to break down the cost and pay over time. Keep in mind, though, that the final installment will be due 120 days after you file your bankruptcy claim.
Everyone who files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is required by law to complete two personal financial management classes – a credit counseling course and a debtor education course. Both can be taken online, over the phone or in person.
The cost of these classes is generally between $25 and $50, depending upon the course provider you choose. However, if you don’t have the funds, don’t worry – the consumer agencies that provide the courses are required to offer free or reduced-price services to low-income debtors. You may need to fill out an application and provide proof of your household income, but most agencies make the procedure easy.
While you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on your own, you’ll need to know the court rules and procedures for securing a discharge. Since getting over all of the hurdles can be a challenge, you can definitely benefit from the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
Hiring an attorney might seem out of reach, but many lawyers – including the professional team at the Law Office of Davis & Jones, P.C. – offer flexible payment solutions and will work to find an option that fits your budget. So, don’t let the potential cost of hiring a bankruptcy attorney scare you away from getting legal assistance.
Are you interested in a free bankruptcy attorney consultation? If you live in northern Utah and want expert advice on filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, contact the Law Office of Davis & Jones today.