If I had a dollar for each time I heard that question, I could probably pay off your credit cards. I know that money is tight, sometimes so much so that food and rent are an issue. That’s the reason the person picked up the phone to call me.
So what is the answer? The answer is it depends. Asking how much a bankruptcy costs is like asking “how much is a pizza?” Well, it depends on what you want. Which size? How many toppings? Do you need it delivered? Thick or thin crust? Are you calling a discount chain or gourmet pizzeria?
Usually, the very first question someone asks is how much does it cost to file a bankruptcy. There is no way to answer before we have even said ‘hello.’ While I understand that it is an important question, it’s one that is better answered with more information. I could quoted random fees over the phone where I grossly under or over-estimate costs but that’s not good for either of us. The solution is to sit down with someone face-to-face in a free consultation and figure out which service he or she needs and the cost. Each case is unique.
What do I take into consideration when pricing a bankruptcy? This is not an exhaustive list, but a few main highlights include:
1. Is it a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?
2. Is this a single or joint case?
3. Is there any real estate involved?
4. How many creditors are there?
5. Is the debtor over median?
6. Is the debtor involved in a business?
7. Are extra motions necessary such as lien avoidance or stay extension?
Once we have discussed the above and then some, I am happy to quote you a fee for the bankruptcy legal services I would provide should the person retain.