Costs & Fees
Every individual who files for bankruptcy must take a credit counseling course. The fee for this course can vary but typically costs around $20. This amount needs to be paid at the time you take the course. The course can be taken online or by telephone.
You can take the credit counseling before meeting with an attorney, but I will be happy to assist you in selecting a credit counseling service. You can complete the online course during your office visit.
The Clerk of Court requires a filing fee for every bankruptcy case (with rare exceptions for Chapter 7 filers with very low income). The filing fee for Chapter 7 cases is $338. The filing fee for Chapter 13 cases is $313. In most cases, the filing fee can be paid in a series of installments over a period of 4 months.
This firm assists clients who need to request more time to pay the filing fee, and I will make sure you know exactly what you need to do in order to pay the filing fee before the deadline.
Chapter 7 Attorney Fees
The legal fees that an attorney can charge for handling a Chapter 7 case vary depending on the attorney’s office, and the complexity of the case. The fee that I charge for filing a Chapter 7 case starts at $1,000. That fee can be reduced in certain circumstances to as low as $850 if your case is expected to be a “no asset” case, and if you are below the median income in Georgia. The Chapter 7 attorney fee includes all the services described in the Chapter 7 Process section of this web site.
If a creditor files a lawsuit against you in the Bankruptcy Court (called an “adversary proceeding”), seeking the determination that some or all of your debts are not dischargeable, that work will require an additional fee agreement.
All clients will receive a fee agreement that clearly explains the fee charged in the case and the services covered.
Chapter 13 Attorney Fees
Chapter 13 is sometimes called the “No-Money Down” bankruptcy option. The credit counseling fee discussed above is sometimes the only amount that you will need to pay at the time of filing.
The maximum fee that an attorney can charge in the Southern District of Georgia for handling a Chapter 13 case without submitting a fee application to the Court is set by General Order 2017-2 at $4,500. This firm often charges fees below the maximum amount and will offer discounts depending on your circumstances. Discounted fees are offered in the following situations:
If your employer will allow “payroll deduction” from your pay check to cover the Chapter 13 plan payments and you can provide the address where payroll deduction instructions should be submitted.
If you can provide the following documents at the time of filing:
Tax returns for the last two years.
Pay stubs from your employer.
Bank statements for all accounts for the past 90 days.
If you have limited income, are unable to pay for a Chapter 7 case, and you require bankruptcy relief to address routine problems.
Current or former military never pay full price for a Chapter 13 case.
All clients will receive a fee agreement that clearly explains the fees charged in the case and the services covered.