When a debtor files bankruptcy they must pay a filing fee that is paid to the U.S. Bankruptcy Clerk of Court for the United States Bankruptcy Court. The filing fees are currently $280 for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, and $306 for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The fees, by law, are divided into different components in the bankruptcy court system that each portion of the fee pays, but debtors don’t have to deal with that issue.

When the attorney files the case electronically, the U.S. Bankruptcy Clerk of Court charges the debtors’ filing fees onto their attorney’s registered credit card. The debtor basically reimburses the attorney for the charge on their credit card.

The new bankruptcy law requires the debtor’s attorney to investigate the debtor’s affairs to ensure the information is as complete and correct as possible when given to the attorney as well as filed with the bankruptcy court. Keep in mind that everything you file and say in your paperwork is under oath as being true and accurate and is subject to the penalties of perjury when filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. This is why your attorney may ask so many questions and require you to provide so many documents. We do this to prevent costly mistakes and to protect you.

For this reason, an attorney may use outside assistance to verify the information of debtors, and with the court filing fees, those costs are passed on to the debtor as well. Some examples are that we may pay to have the three major credit reporting agencies provide a credit report. We have a service that charges to import credit data into your file, which we must charge approximately $50, if you do not do it yourself at the credit industry website www.annualcreditreport.com —- { You get one (1) free credit report a year from each credit reporting agency- Experian, TransUnion and Equifax- please note as soon as you see your credit report on the computer screen THAT IS your FREE credit report and you MUST save it onto your computer or print it out right then or you lose it and must pay for it when you bring it back up onto your computer- so do NOT hit the back button or leave and come back later to get it } —-  I can’t guarantee that your credit report is correct, but it’s better than nothing. Also for your convenience, we’ll help you at our office by using the internet service. Remember you OWE MORE PEOPLE and businesses than on your credit report. Doesn’t everybody report debts to credit agencies. Therefore include EVERYBODY you owe money in your paperwork.

You must do a required short credit counseling at www.bankruptcyinfo.org, before you can file your bankruptcy.  You can do it yourself at home with the link on this website. For our help, the use of the computers in our office and our time, we charge $40.

Also you have to pay the credit counselor’s fee, which in NC is only $40-80 for the credit counseling class, then $19-50 per debtor for the debt financial management class to be taken after you file your bankruptcy. Mr. Hardy’s fee structure usually covers the costs of the credit counseling class.

Attorney’s fees depend on the case and they can’t determine what it costs based on what chapter it falls under. Since all cases have an unlike sets of facts, a different amount of creditors, a dissimilar emergency that’s taken into account, and other variables. The attorney’s fees are usually a fixed fee. In normal cases, this means that once you pay the set fees there are no other attorney fees unless there are later issues, hearings and motions, which is uncommon. Some attorneys publicize that their fees “start at” a certain low amount, but once you’re in their office they tend to charge more. It’s almost impossible to give an exact idea of how difficult a certain bankruptcy is without a consultation. The amount of creditors you have or amount of money you owe aren’t even the biggest cost determinant!