How Much Does It Cost To File Bankruptcy?

You are overwhelmed by debt. You are trying to regain your financial footing. You are considering bankruptcy, but of course you are concerned with the cost.

At Miller & Miller Law, LLC, one of the most frequent questions we get is, "How much does it cost to file bankruptcy?" While the answer varies depending on the situation, here is some information that may help you understand the cost of bankruptcy:

Bankruptcy Does Not Cost As Much As You Think

Many people avoid filing bankruptcy for fear it will leave them in ruins financially. There is a persistent myth that you have to give up all your assets in order to get bankruptcy relief. That is simply not true. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, some asset liquidation may be required, but many assets are exempt. Most people are surprised to find out how little they actually have to give up, if anything. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, no asset liquidation is necessary.

While bankruptcy is not the financially destructive process that many people think it is, it does come with its costs. You will have to pay attorney fees, filing fees and other fees.

Attorney Fees

First of all, it is important to know that you do not have to hire an attorney to file bankruptcy in Wisconsin. However, without an attorney you may be susceptible to pushback from creditors and other issues. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the process efficiently, avoiding all pitfalls and overcoming all obstacles while keeping creditors at bay.

Believe it or not, a lawyer may even save you money in the long run. Every setback in the process that sends you back to the starting line represents more money lost in interest and late payments that will have to be dealt with in bankruptcy.

Perhaps more importantly, at our law firm, we are well-versed in options you may not have thought of, such as the Wisconsin-only Chapter 128 debt relief option, which is significantly less expensive, as well as various alternatives to bankruptcy. Many people come to us thinking that bankruptcy is their only hope, and after a careful examination of their situation, we are able to help them overcome their debt without having to go through bankruptcy. By pursuing a bankruptcy alternative, you may be able to avoid the cost of bankruptcy altogether.

We offer a free consultation. During this consultation, we will evaluate your case completely. After we understand your situation and determine what option makes the most sense for you, we will be able to quote you an accurate fee.

Filing Fees

Filing fees vary depending on the type of bankruptcy.

If you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will have to pay a:

  • Filing fee of $335

If you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy you will have to pay a:

  • Filing fee of $310

These filing fees are the same whether you are filing alone or jointly with your spouse.

In some cases, the court may allow you to pay these fees in installments.

Be aware that these fees are subject to change.

Credit Counseling Fees

In Wisconsin, you are required to take a credit counseling session prior to filing bankruptcy. Then, prior to your discharge, you must take an additional debt management course. The price of these services varies depending on who is offering them. These classes can be taken online or over the phone. According to the law, the providers of these services are supposed to offer reduced rates or fee waivers in some situations. One of the many benefits of working with the attorneys at our law firm is that we can help you find a court-approved provider with services that make sense based on your budget.

Other Fees

Unfortunately, there are a variety of other fees that may be incurred during the bankruptcy process. If you miss a creditor in the initial filing and need to add it in, that may cost extra. If you need to file a motion, that may cost extra. By getting an experienced lawyer on board at the very start, you can minimize your risk of incurring additional fees because your lawyer will carefully review the situation to ensure that nothing is missed before getting started.

The First Consultation Is Free

We encourage you to contact us for a no-risk, no-obligation consultation. We will review your situation and give you straightforward information about the bankruptcy process, including an estimated cost. We have law offices conveniently located in Milwaukee and throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Please call us at 414-326-9231 or send us an email.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.