There is no definite answer to how much it will cost you to go through the bankruptcy process successfully. While the creditors will be discharged or repaid through a repayment plan, some costs cannot wait. You must pay the filing fees and the attorney fees out of pocket. It might seem like a lot to bear, considering you are already struggling financially, but it is worth the sacrifice.
On the flipside, creditors would be seeking legal orders to sell or repossess your properties. Therefore, the bills might be a small price to pay to get a repayment extension or safeguard some exempt properties. Tampa Bay criminal and injury attorneys can explain the financial requirements of pursuing bankruptcy.
What Court Costs Should I Prepare to Pay in Bankruptcy?
The cost of filing a bankruptcy petition is usually fixed and doesn’t fluctuate based on your case’s complexities.
Chapter 13 Filing Fees
If you decide to file under this category, you can expect to pay the following filing fees:
- Re-opening fees
- Administrative fees
- Filing fees
Chapter 7 Filing Fees
Filing under this chapter might attract a different set of filing fees, which include:
- Re-opening fees
- Trustee surcharge
- Administrative fees
- Filing fees
To find out the current filing fees, consult with seasoned social security disability lawyers in Tampa, and they can keep you informed.
How Much Will I Pay an Attorney for a Bankruptcy in Tampa Bay?
The legal fees paid to an attorney that handles a bankruptcy case in Florida vary from one law firm to another. However, it might cost you more if you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 takes less time and involves less work compared to Chapter 13.
Luckily in most cases, you won’t have to pay all the Chapter 13 fees at once. You could first pay the down payment before filing the bankruptcy petition. The rest of the legal fees could be paid monthly once it is included in the Chapter 13 repayment plan. Contact social security disability lawyers in Tampa to discuss the most favorable payment arrangement for you.
What Determines Whether I’ll Pay More or Less in Attorney Fees?
Apart from the type of bankruptcy you’re filing, there are several other determinants of how much you’ll pay in legal fees. You might pay higher or less amounts, depending on:
- The firm’s location; large urban areas on the coasts charge more
- Where they work
- Their level of experience
However, a Florida court must approve the amount you pay the lawyer representing you. And some courts have simplified the approval process by setting up guidelines. The presumptive fee for basic services in Florida is between $3,500 and $4,500.
But you may pay more if your case requires extra services such as:
- When you are involved in another lawsuit when you file for bankruptcy
- When you want to discharge a student loan
- When you want to discharge a mortgage debt when the house is worth less than what you owe
- When you are filing for your business
What Other Factors Escalate Bankruptcy Costs?
A simple bankruptcy case might not cost the same as a complex one. Complexities require the attorney to make more court appearances and invest more in the case. You could expect higher fees if:
- You have non-dischargeable debts such as past-due taxes, alimony, or child support
- The likelihood of accusations of fraud
- You have to try to stop another legal action such as repossession, eviction, or foreclosure
- You have filed for another bankruptcy in the last eight years
- You have an extensive list of creditors
- You earn more than Florida’s median income for the size of your household
- You have unusual assets or numerous assets
- You have non-exempt assets
- You have multiple sources of income
- You are filing together with your spouse
Note that most attorneys demand payment before offering services for Chapter 7. While some might offer a payment plan when you can’t pay all the fees at once, they might not proceed with bankruptcy until the money is paid.
How Do I Pick the Most Cost-Effective Attorney in Tampa?
Before choosing a Florida attorney to represent you in the bankruptcy case, you might want to make a few phone calls and compare the rates. You can also get this information by searching on the PACER website. If you choose to download the information, you might pay a small fee.
Your choice of a bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa Bay shouldn’t involve picking the one with the lowest fees. Instead, the complexity of your case should inform your choice. An experienced Tampa social security disability attorney can handle all manner of bankruptcy cases at reasonable rates.
How Can I Save on Bankruptcy Costs in Florida?
Everyone seeking bankruptcy relief is usually struggling with unmanageable debts. However, some are worse off than others. The elderly, persons living with disabilities, low-wage earners, and the unemployed can explore low-cost bankruptcy options. So, make sure that you discuss these special circumstances with an experienced social security disability lawyer in Tampa, FL, beforehand.
If you can’t afford legal fees, you might get discounted or free bankruptcy services by visiting a legal aid office or a local bar association. You can also represent yourself and file the paperwork by yourself or with the assistance of a petition preparer.
But the downside of not having an attorney representing you is that your case could be dismissed if you run into legal trouble. You could raise the money by foregoing a credit card payment and channeling it into legal expenses.
Attorneys Providing a Voice When You Need It Most
In your financial difficulties, you might still need money to legally notify your creditors that you are unable to pay them under the previously agreed arrangement. While doing it without an attorney can save you some money, its negative implications can be costlier.
Your bankruptcy deserves the best possible outcome in Florida. Speak to us today, and we will address all your financial concerns.