The Costs of Filing Bankruptcy
By Sam Argon
IF you've been thinking of filing bankruptcy, read this article beforehand to make sure you know all the potential costs involved.
When it comes to filing for bankruptcy, many individuals avoid doing so because of the perceived costs. In the end, the costs accrued in the process of filing for bankruptcy are a far cry less than the costs accrued in your debts that will be erased by the bankruptcy proceedings. Instead of avoiding the task of filing, consider doing so before you have racked up further bills that may not be exempt for the bankruptcy. Keep in mind that in addition to the specific fees associated with filing for bankruptcy, you will need to pay any fees associated with hiring a lawyer or a financial professional.
Technically, the fee associated with filing bankruptcy is relatively low. For individuals looking to file for Chapter Seven bankruptcy, the court cost is $200. This cost includes a $170 filing fee and a $30 noticing fee. Slightly less expensive, the charge for filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy is $185. This cost includes a $155 filing fee and the same $30 noticing fee. The costs are the same regardless if you are filing separately or jointly with a spouse.
In addition to these fees directly associated with filing for bankruptcy, you may incur other costs. The main cost comes in the hiring of professionals to help make this process smoother and easier. These professionals can include lawyers and individuals who work in financial professions, including credit counselors. Depending on your available budget any complications with your bankruptcy filing, you may or may not need to seek professional help when it comes to filing for bankruptcy. It is perfectly legal to file for bankruptcy on your own and many individuals do so successfully over a given year.
Before you hire a bankruptcy lawyer, you should first have an initial consultation. Many bankruptcy lawyers offer this service free of charge. If, for any reason, you feel uncomfortable or unsatisfied with the lawyer with whom you have consulted regarding your bankruptcy filing, you should carefully consider seeking another legal professional. In the end, the fees associated with hiring a lawyer to handle your bankruptcy proceedings can range between $1,500 and $2,000.
If you are looking to cut corners when it comes to costs, you should be prepared to take a good deal of the work upon yourself. By assembling the information on your own, you can avoid hiring a paralegal to do the grunt work for you. If you are well organized and well prepared for all of your legal engagements regarding filing for bankruptcy, you will save your lawyer time and effort while saving yourself some money. You can also save by limiting the number of meetings your lawyer attends. Although each lawyer will have specific guidelines when it comes to attending meetings regarding your bankruptcy filing, especially the 341 creditors meeting, you may be able to work a deal that will keep a few dollars in your pocket.
Although hiring a financial professional, such as a debt counselor, may tax your budget, the payoff will be at the end of the day. Especially if you were forced to file for bankruptcy given problems associated with using credit cards and loans recklessly, this individual will help you tremendously when it comes to starting fresh after the filing. By learning how to handle your credit wisely and the steps that you can take to work towards rebuilding your credit report and raising your credit score, you can work towards a new financial tomorrow after solving mistakes of your past.
One thing you should carefully avoid is the many do it yourself scams on the market. Especially in cyberspace, these companies that offer quick and easy ways to file for bankruptcy yourself by purchasing their seemingly inexpensive kit are everywhere. Do not fall into one of these traps and waste any more of your hard earned money. Keep in mind that the cost associated with filing for bankruptcy is still much less that the total price of the debts that bankruptcy will delete.
About the Author
Sam Argon is retired from the bankruptcy industry and is a regular contributor for http://www.filingforbankruptcyonline.com - a site that offers information about filing bankruptcy, rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy and more.
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