Bankruptcy can offer a fresh financial start for many individuals drowning in debt. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in Pennsylvania, one of the primary questions on your mind might be about the costs involved. In this blog post, we break down the costs associated with filing for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies in the state of Pennsylvania.
1. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Costs:
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often referred to as ‘liquidation bankruptcy’. It involves the sale of a debtor’s non-exempt assets to repay creditors. Here are the associated costs:
• Filing Fees: As of my last update in September 2021, the filing fee for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $338. However, it’s important to note that these fees can change, and it’s a good idea to check the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s website or consult with a local attorney for the most current fee.
• Attorney Fees: Attorney fees can vary widely depending on the complexity of your case, the reputation of the attorney, and geographical location. In Pennsylvania, attorney fees for Chapter 7 can range from $1,000 to $2,500 or more.
• Credit Counseling & Debtor Education: Before you can file for bankruptcy, you’ll need to complete a credit counseling course. After filing, a debtor education course is also required. Each course costs about $20 to $50, though fee waivers might be available for those who qualify.
2. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Costs:
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization bankruptcy designed for debtors with regular income who can repay some or all of their debts over a period of three to five years.
• Filing Fees: The Chapter 13 filing fee is $313 as of September 2021. Again, always check for the most current fees.
• Attorney Fees: Chapter 13 cases are typically more complex than Chapter 7 cases. Attorney fees can vary, but in Pennsylvania, they might range from $2,500 to $6,000 or more. Some attorneys might require an upfront fee, with the remainder paid through the repayment plan.
• Credit Counseling & Debtor Education: Just like with Chapter 7, you’ll need to complete both a credit counseling and a debtor education course. Costs for these courses remain in the $20 to $50 range.
While bankruptcy can offer significant financial relief, it’s essential to be aware of the associated costs. The fees mentioned above are just a starting point. Other potential costs, such as appraisals, expert witness fees, or other court-related expenses, could also arise. Always consult with a reputable bankruptcy attorney in Pennsylvania, such as Elias Legal Group, to get a precise estimate tailored to your unique situation.
Disclaimer: This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. For personal advice regarding bankruptcy, always consult with a legal professional.