What does it cost to file?

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
In order to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll be required to pay $185 (one hundred and eighty-five dollars) to the bankruptcy court clerk when you submit your petition. This fee covers the cost to administer your case and is the same whether a single person or a married couple files. You must pay this filing fee, regardless of your income or financial condition. In the event that you’re unable to pay it in full at the time of your filing, you can apply to the court to pay the amount in up to four installments over a period of 120 days. In addition to the filing fee, you may be responsible for paying quarterly fees to the United States Trustee handling your bankruptcy. If you hire an attorney for legal advice to help you through the bankruptcy process, expect to be charged a one-time flat fee based on the complexity of your case. Some attorneys may charge by the hour and will add office expenses to the bill as they arise, especially if your case takes unusual or lengthy turns. Chapter 13 bankruptcies will usually involve higher attorney fees than Chapter 7 filings because there’s a greater amount of attorney involvement over a longer period of time. Fortunately, however, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will allow you to pay your attorney fees in installments, similar to the way that your other creditors get paid in the plan. All fees charged by your attorney, regardless of whether they’re paid in installments or in one lump sum, must be reviewed and approved by the bankruptcy judge to ensure that they’re fair and reasonable. Keep in mind that you must pay your court costs before you pay your attorney.

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