What is the Average cost of bankruptcy? 28 Answers as of July 30, 2011

I am planning of filing either a chapter 13 or chapter 11, I have called a few attorneys and but won't give me a final number. I want to know how much hiring an attorney and completing the process will cost roughly

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Breckenridge and Walton
Breckenridge and Walton | Alan D. Walton
If you call a tire store and ask how much for tires for your vehicle, without telling them whether you ride a Schwinn, Harley, Hummer or an 18 wheeler, do you think they can give you a meaningful number? Why do you think we can do so when you are not informing us of what your are "driving" I can assure you that my fees to file for a welfare mother are far different than what I would charge GM if they called for a price. Our fees depend on your problems. Until we know them all, we cannot respond. If anyone actually does without knowing anything about your circumstances be prepared for changes when they quoted the Schwinn price and you drive up in the 18 wheeler.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/22/2011
Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
My firm does not do chapter 11 cases but a chapter 13 will cost in my jurisdiction no more than $3500. In some areas attorneys are allowed more than this. Also most attorneys will allow you to pay a portion of this up front and put the remaining fees into the plan payments. In addition to the above quoted sum you will pay all out of pocket costs such as court filing fees, etc.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/20/2011
Figure 3k.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/19/2011
Ray Fisher Law Offices
Ray Fisher Law Offices | Ray Fisher
The normal range in Austin for a chapter 7 is $2-3k. For a chapter 11 a lawyer who really knows what they are doing will normally charge a minimum of $10k and often much higher depending on a large number of factors.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/19/2011
Bankruptcy Law Center
Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
The average cost of an experienced chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney in Colorado is approx. $1500 ($1200 attorney fee plus $299 filing fee) and the starting fees for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is approx. $3600. The bankruptcy lawyers who advertise "Bankruptcy from $499" generally charge you double that fee and have their paralegals do all the work. Many bankruptcy attorneys will discount their fees an easy chapter 7 bankruptcy. Get price quotes from 3 bankruptcy lawyers and always ask the attorney "How many bankruptcy cases have you filed?" if the answer is less than 2000, you may want to look further. Always ask "How much time will I actually spend with the attorney? (a paralegal doesn't count)". If the answer is less than 3 hours, then look for someone else.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    Chapter 13, depending on the complexity, will cost between $2,500 and $6,000, and only in unusual circumanstances (involving litigating claims) will exceed that. A Chapter 11 will start at around $25,000 and can go way past that, depending, again, on the complexity. Major Chapter 11's such as Fortune 500 companies, cost millions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
    There's a big difference between a chapter 13 and a chapter 11. A chapter 11 is usually used by businesses, and a typical down payment to start a small chapter 11 in the Houston Texas area is $15,000 - $25,000 and up. If you are a consumer or you are a self-employed small business person, and you qualify, you could file a chapter 7 bankruptcy with my office for $2000-$2500, including all costs and the court's filing fee, sometimes even less. A chapter 13 is more, $3500-$4500, but my office will usually commence a chapter 13 for a down payment of as little as $349.00, and agree to accept the rest of our fee through your plan, from the payments that you pay to your chapter 13 trustee. Attorneys don't like to quote you a fee, until they know what they are getting into. Once you meet with a lawyer, or several lawyers, you will have a better idea of what they charge in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Tucker Legal Clinic
    Tucker Legal Clinic | Samuel Tucker
    A Ch13 in this district is $2500-3500, a Ch11 would probably be $10,000 ++, maybe more before it is over. Fee arrangements vary from attorney to attorney. I require a retainer of not less than 1000 to file a Ch13, balance paid through plan. For Ch11 a retainer of $10,000 would be required and agreement to additional charges per hour = expenses.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Engberg Law Office
    Engberg Law Office | Harry A. Engberg
    The size of the estate makes a difference on cost. Normal 13s run $2500 to $3500. Chapter 11 has no average, but costs thousands with retainers running $5,000 to $10,000. There is only a very few attorneys that do Chapter 11s.
    Answer Applies to: South Dakota
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    As the attorneys are probably telling you there is no way to know what a Chapter 11 will cost ahead of time, all they can do is make a good faith asset. As for the Chapter 13, in the Eastern District of Michigan, they generally average somewhere between $3000-$3500, but can be more if you have something complicated or are likely to run into contested matters, which I suspect you probably do since you are wonder whether you will have to file a Chapter 13 or a Chapter 11.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Robert Peters, P.A.
    Robert Peters, P.A. | Robert L. Peters
    The standard fee in Jacksonville Florida is $3500 for a basic chapter 13. Chapter 11's run from $11,000-$40,000 and up.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Chapter 13 is often regulated by the court with a "no look" fee. In the Central District of California that maxes out at 4,000.00 for employed persons and 4,500 if you are operating a business. Not all of that needs to be paid in advance. For example, I charge 1,000.00 up front, (plus filing fee). The rest goes into the plan. Chapter 11 is another story and can cost quite a bit, as in thousands. The Central District just released some new forms which will make smaller ch11 cases cheaper. It is hard to say what the norm is because they vary in complexity. Every thing from being simply over the debt limit for a chapter 13 to a company with multiple employees, or multiple properties can be found in a chapter 11.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    There are no standard fee. A Chapter 13 case will typically cost $3,500 - $5,000. A Chapter 11 is likely to cost in excess of $40,000. In both cases, most of the fees can be paid through the plan, so you can probably get a case filed with about 1/3 of the amount up front.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    The typical attorney fees for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy vary from district to district, but in the Indianapolis area, the most typical fee is $3,500 for the attorney fees, $274 for the court's filing fee and the costs of mandatory credit counseling which range from $25-100 for the first course, depending on the provider. Chapter 11 is typically much higher for the attorney fees and court filing fee.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Rosenberg & Press, LLC
    Rosenberg & Press, LLC | Christopher D. Hite
    You are asking the wrong question. Before you even get there, ask : why do I want to file; individual or business; how much debt; what is the breakdown/characterization of debt; what are assets; what is ultimate goal in a filing; and what are pitfuls I am looking to avoid.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C.
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C. | Alexzander Adams
    It depends. The reason you can't get a straight answer is probably because you haven't met with the attorney. In Oregon, the ranges varies depending on the amount of work that needs to be done. It's no different than calling a doctor and asking how much would surgery costs. It depends based on your individual case. More important than cost, find someone who is reputable, someone whom you like, and someone who you feel comfortable with.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    There is no way to answer a question like that without knowing all the facts and circumstances of your situation, and every attorney charges different hourly rates (the old adage "you get what you pay for" applies to attorney representation as well). In the Los Angeles area most Chapter 13 cases for wage earners not self-employed or operating a business will start at around $4,000 plus court fees, but that doesn't include additional services such as doing lien stripping motions, adversary proceedings and additional things that may come along that aren't anticipated, although many times those fees can be taken from your monthly payments. Chapter 11 is far more involved and you're probably looking at an initial retainer starting at around $10,000-$15,000 at a bare minimum.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    Asking for the average cost of a bankruptcy is a hard question, like asking the cost of the average surgery. It depends on several factors, including quality of representation and complexity of issues. Assuming this is an average bankruptcy there are some guidelines as to what it costs. First, the most complicated type of bankruptcy is chapter 11. The average retainer cost up front is between $15-25,000. Most individuals do not file chapter 11. Chapter 13 is a more typical payment plan. In the Northern District of California, Oakland Division the fee guidelines have been approved by the judges as follows. For a business case the cost is $6000; for a non-business case it is $4800. Approximately $2000 of those fees are paid in advance and the balance of fees are built into the payment plan. For a chapter 7 bankruptcy the fees range from about $1700-2500. Individual fees vary and you should ask more than one attorney what the fees are.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    There is a maximum fee that a lawyer can charge for a Chapter 13 without having to submit the fees for approval of the Court. The amount varies depending on where you are going to file your case. A lawyer can charge more if the lawyer can justify the higher fee to the Court by submitting an application for approval of the greater fee itemizing the time spent on the case. Most Chapter 13 cases are between $3,000 and $6,000, mostly depending on what kind of debts involved and not the amount of the debts. There is no average amount of fees that would mean anything since every case is different. Most of the Chapter 13 fees as paid in the Chapter 13 plan over a period of three to five years. No lawyer in his right mind would quote a fee on the phone without an without knowing all the details of your financial situation and any lawyer that does that should be not be trusted. Every lawyer should be able to give you a firm amount after a consultation although there are always things that can come up in the course of the case that were not anticipated and may entitle the attorney to a greater fee. The retainer agreement with the attorney must specify what is included in the fee and what is not. Chapter 11 is a completely difference type of bankruptcy case and the starting cost is probably around $15,000 for a personal Chapter 11 but most cases will cost a lot more. People usually don't file Chapter 11 cases unless they have no choice. It is an expensive, complicated case and is mostly for corporations and other incorporated businesses although a Chapter 11 can be filed by an individual who does not qualify for Chapter 13 because of debts too high to be eligible for Chapter 13. While the fees are important, that should never be the deciding factor alone on what lawyer or other professional to hire. if a lawyer is too cheap then there may be a reason for it and you might be sorry later that you hire that lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    First of all, a Chapter 11 is usually a business reorganization. I have a funny feeling what you meant was Chapter 7 or 13. There could be a wide range of attorneys fees for a 7, and the reason you might not get an exact quote over the phone is because the attorney wants to meet with you and see exactly what you have. For instance, your situation. do you have a home, perhaps you have additional real estate. Do you own or operate a business? Are your income and expenses cut and dried, or do they fluctuate, thereby making it more difficult to compute? Do you have a ton of assets? Perhaps no assets. What about debts? Do you have a small handful, or 95 creditors, with lawsuits, from your failed business? You get the point. Without knowing that, its hard to even give a range. Most of the time, our consultations are free (mine always are). See a bankruptcy attorney and run it all by him or her. If it's a 13, the same things apply, but the fees are capped by statute (4,000, 4,500 depending on whether or not you own a business) and since they're a pain, most attorneys charge the max. There is some variation as far as how much of those payments the attorney might put into the plan, so he gets paid part up front, part incrementally. Or he might even insist on all up front. If you really meant Chapter 11, which I don't think so, but if you did, you could be looking at five figures, but I don't think that is what you had in mind.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Ariano & Reppucci
    Ariano & Reppucci | Chris Ariano
    As most attorneys will tell you, providing an accurate price quote is difficult without having a complete picture of the case at hand. That being said, it has been my experience that most chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys charge fees ranging between $3,000 and $4,000. The neat thing about chapter 13 bankruptcy is that some or all of the attorneys fees can be paid through the bankruptcy plan. This means that there is little upfront cost to filing, as the post-filing portion of the fees are spread out over 3-5 years. Filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy is a much more complicated process. As a result, it can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Fortunately, it has been my experience that very few debtors actually need chapter 11 protection.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law | Eric Benzer
    Ch 7 1800 Ch 13 3000
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Very few individuals should file Chapter 11. A simple chapter 11 can easily run $20,000 to $100,000. Fees for a chapter 13 depend on the nature of your debts, and complexity of the legal issues (for example, what motions need filing). Pretty typically I'd say you should see fees around $4500, but some cases could be very different. Fees for Chapter 7 are far lower. Mine start around $950. Generally you realistically do not have a choice between the 3 chapters. The numbers that work for one usually rule out the others.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    It's difficult to state a fee in advance because circumstances are so different. We're even reluctant to discuss fees among ourselves.The real determinant should be how comfortable you are with the attorney, how helpful s/he is to you, what the fee covers, and how available to you s/he'll be. Some charge a rock-bottom fee of less than $1,000, and you should be wary of this. Chapter 13 takes more time and is more expensive. The fact is, you get what you pay for.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    Ch 13 - $4000-$4500 legal fees. Ch 11 - $50,000 - TBD Ch 7 - As low as $1000 orless and as high as several thousand.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
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