It is often the first thing people ask their prospective lawyers when they are filing for bankruptcy – how much does it cost? There’s a good reason behind it too, if you are filing for bankrupcy, it is certainly not because you are flush with cash. Luckily, compared to the debts that pushed your towards it, the cost of bankruptcy isn’t bad. Like with Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 filing has no upfront flat fee, but rather a filing fee and several other fees that you will need to pay, the most expensive of which is the lawyer fee paid to the attorney that is handling the legal procedures that go along with filings for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Minnesota.
The filing fee for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Minnesota is a little lower than Chapter 7 at $310. The filing fee for a chapter 7 is $335. However, unlike Chapter 7 fees that can be waived or put on a payment plan, because you must have enough money for Chapter 13 to fund a repayment plan for three to five years, you will rarely qualify for a waiver or a repayment plan, so you will need to have it up front.
Next, like Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will also need to take a credit counseling course before filing, and then a financial management course afterwards. Both of these courses assure, in essence, that you don’t need to file for bankruptcy again in your lifetime by teaching you how to manage and minimize debt while maximizing your finances. These classes cost between $25 to $100 for both while some courses are completely free. However, with free classes, you need to make sure they are approved by the court, preferably before taking them so you don’t waste your time..
Finally, your biggest payment will be to your lawyer. While the filing fee for Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be lower, the lawyer fees will often be higher. Why is this? Well, unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy which is settled in a few months, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be a multi-year commitment for both you and your lawyer. As we know, time is money, so obviously if it costs more time then you need to pay your lawyer for it as it is par of their job.
As for how much those lawyer fees will be, it is difficult to give a concrete answer. Fees will not only vary from lawyer to lawyer, but they also vary from case to case. There are a number of different factors that can affect the cost of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case including time, whether or not you are an employee or own your own business, and the complexity of your debt and finances. However, while the lawyer fees may be the most expensive part of filing, a lawyer can only charge within a guideline set by a court. Typically this is between $3,000 to $6,000, and a lawyer won’t be able to charge more than that. The second piece of good news is that most lawyers often don’t ask for that in advance of taking your case. As bankruptcy lawyers, most of us realize that if you come in, you aren’t in the best place financially so we will work with you to make sure you get debt-free without our fees making it worse.
If you are filing for Chapter 13 and want to know how much it will cost you for the best representation in Minnesota, contact us today. The Buettner Law Group is dedicated to helping Minnesota get out of that dreaded hole of debt by offering the most knowledgeable attorneys to represent them in the process, and making sure they get a bankruptcy deal that is the best fit for them from a financial standpoint.