The bankruptcy fees associated with filing bankruptcy are really not that much when you compare the amount of debt you typically can discharge. If you have thousands of dollars in debt and you are able to discharge that debt then paying a couple thousand dollars is not bad at at all. The only real number that is negotiable when filing bankruptcy are the bankruptcy attorney fees. The rest of the fees are static, in other words there the same for everyone.
I know this still helps very little for the person that does not have $25.00 left over for disposable income after they receive their paycheck. That is assuming they are receiving a paycheck. If you live in Michigan and have been working since 2007 you are doing excellent in a state where the great lake state has led unemployment at 5-6% above the rest of the country on a continuing basis.
The actual filing fees are are in relation to which chapter of bankruptcy you plan on filing for. In other words, the filing fees are different for a chapter 7 bankruptcy than for a chapter 13 bankruptcy. The easiest bankruptcy is a chapter 7 bankruptcy and it costs $299.00 to file your case with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. If you are filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy which is more complicated chapter you will have to pay $274.00 to file with the courts.
What other costs are associated with filing bankruptcy. Under the 2005 bankruptcy law you are also required to take a pre bankruptcy filing class and a post bankruptcy filing class. This means before you can ever file bankruptcy you must meet with a certified government agency to take a class before you can file. Several of these classes can be taken online ; if you are married you and your spouse can attend the same class and not have to pay individual fees. You can find cheaper agencies to provide these classes. However, I would plan on paying $100.00 combined ( $50.00 each) for the pre and post filing bankruptcy classes. The rest of the fees are really dependent on the attorney you pick. If you are filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you can afford to keep your home and cars I would go for a cheaper bankruptcy attorney. You need to be aware with a cheaper the attorney comes a reduction in personal services and you have less of a chance of them being their to hold your hand through out the whole process. In this case you should visit a bankruptcy forum to over come your apprehensions by sharing your experiences. If you are filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy then you I recommend you pay the higher fee for a better attorney since this will require you to adhere to a payback plan and you need an attorney that will fight for you.
How can I pay for an attorney if I am already broke?
You should first meet with at minimum of 3 attorneys before you ever file. They offer free consults so this will not cost you anything. You need to think along these lines if I did not have to pay all these credit card bills how long would it take me to come up with 600-700 to file for bankruptcy. The reason you ask your self this because the attorney will tell you to stop paying all of your creditors that are unsecured ( credit cards etc). You will then pay him or her a retainer fee of $200-$300 to begin sending all collection calls to your attorney. You will then save up the rest of the money you would pay to your creditors to pay off your attorney. Once your attorney is paid in full you will pay the 299.00 or 274.00 to actually file your case. You could take 3-4 months to save and pay for your attorney. The goal is to pay the retainer to give the creditors a name and number they can call so they do not call and harass you. If your filing a Chapter 13 you can include your attorney payments into your payback plan. So, you may not have to pay all the upfront fees to the attorney if you are filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 $299.00
Prefiling class 50.00
post filing class 50.00
attorney cost 700-1500
Minimum to maximum cost to file bankruptcy is: $1,099-$1,899 to file for bankruptcy