How Much Will It Cost Me To Discharge My Debts With Bankruptcy?
Our Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney Takes a Look At The Cost Of Filing Bankruptcy In Nevada
Filing bankruptcy can be a bit of a Catch-22. It is meant for people who are struggling financially, but the costs of declaring bankruptcy can be high. You may find it so expensive that you may be tempted to cut corners in your bankruptcy, or not file at all. There are several factors that can affect the price of your bankruptcy, including the chapter you choose to file. Most individuals will file either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Chapter 7, the more common of the two, clears away many types of unsecured debts. Chapter 13, known as a wage earner’s bankruptcy, reorganizes debts into a payment plan that lasts three or five years.
When you file your bankruptcy petition with the court, you must pay a filing fee that can be surprisingly expensive. For a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, this is $338. For a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, this is $313. If you can’t afford to pay your filing fee, you may qualify for a fee waiver. Keep in mind that if you hire a bankruptcy attorney to represent you, the court likely won’t approve a fee waiver application. You may also qualify to pay your filing fee in installments. You must pay in at most four installments, and you must pay the balance in full within 120 days of your filing. Fee waivers and installment plans are only available for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and not Chapter 13.
Joint Or Single Nevada Bankruptcy Filing
When you consult with Las Vegas bankruptcy attorneys, one of the first things they will want to know is if you are married, and if so, if your spouse plans to declare bankruptcy with you. The petition for a joint filing is inevitably longer and will require more documents, so this can affect how much your attorney will charge. A joint filing can also become more complicated if both spouses are employed, or if you even have a child or dependent in the household who is also employed.
Credit Counseling Courses
To discharge your debts in bankruptcy, you are required to complete two credit counseling courses. These courses are conducted online and typically take not much longer than an hour to complete. You will need to pay a small fee to register for these courses. Your attorney will usually have you use their preferred course provider, and course fees will vary. Most of the time, they won’t cost more than $20-$35. Your first course must be completed in the six months before your petition is filed, and your second course must be completed within 60 days after your 341 Meeting of Creditors.
Credit Report & Declaring Bankruptcy
There’s a chance that you have already pulled your credit report as you consider filing bankruptcy. Some organizations offer this service for free, while others may charge to pull from multiple credit reporting agencies. A recent copy of your credit report will also be necessary for filing purposes. Your Nevada bankruptcy attorney can pull all of your debts from your credit report to compile your creditor mailing matrix. This ensures that all of your creditors are properly notified when your bankruptcy is filed so that they can comply with the Automatic Stay. You may need to pay for this credit report, or your attorney may already include it in their fees.
Attorney’s Fees For Your Las Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyer
This is usually the largest expense associated with declaring bankruptcy in Nevada, leaving many debtors to forego representation when they file. Representing yourself in a bankruptcy is known as filing pro se. But year after year, the success (or discharge) rates of debtors who file bankruptcy with legal representation is higher than for those who don’t have an attorney representing them. While more than 94% of attorney-represented Chapter 7 debtors successfully discharge their debts, only about 66% of those who file without attorneys are successful. About one third of Chapter 13 bankruptcies that are filed with attorney representation are discharged. While that number may already seem low, the chances of discharging a Chapter 13 bankruptcy without an attorney are miniscule. Less than 1% of pro se Chapter 13 bankruptcies end in dismissal.
You can generally expect the attorney’s fees for a Chapter 13 to be higher than for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, because attorney’s fees can be worked into a Chapter 13 payment plan, you may actually pay less up front for a Chapter 13. All debts, including attorney’s fees, are theoretically wiped away the moment a Chapter 7 petition is filed, making it more difficult for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney to offer extended payment options. At My AZ Lawyers, we offer Zero Down Chapter 7 payment plans for eligible clients. This allows you to get your petition filed- stopping garnishments and other collections with the Automatic Stay- and you can begin your payments within 30 days of filing. You will have 12 months to pay off your balance, and your plan includes a 0% interest rate. Contact our office for your free consultation to learn more.
Everyone who files bankruptcy must attend a hearing called a 341 Meeting of Creditors. At this hearing, the trustee confirms the debtor’s identity and asks any questions they may have about the debtor’s petition. Creditors may also attend and ask questions about the case, or object to their debts being discharged. Because this hearing is mandatory in every case, the cost of the appearance will generally already be included in the terms of your retainer agreement. But if you choose to reaffirm any of your debts, you may have to attend an additional hearing, which will come with additional costs. Your retainer agreement should include a clause on any extra charges associated with attending a reaffirmation hearing.
Missed 341 Meeting Of Creditors
There are countless reasons that it is important to attend your 341 Meeting of Creditors, presentable and on time. But if you miss this hearing, or are so late that your case is continued, it may cost you more than just figuratively. You will probably have to pay an additional charge if your case is continued due to your tardiness or absence. Of course, this shouldn’t apply if your case is continued due to the court or your attorney. Check your retainer agreement to see what that charge would be.
Amendments To Your Bankruptcy Petition
A credit report can provide most of a debtor’s creditor information, but recent debts and debts in certain categories may take longer to appear on a credit report. If you don’t inform your attorney of any debts that may not be on your credit report, it will probably be missing from your creditor mailing matrix. The court filing fee for making such an amendment is $32, and your attorney may charge an additional fee to file the amendment on your behalf.
Some aspects of filing bankruptcy simply require that you have a few spare dollars in your bank account. You will need gas or bus fare to get to and from meetings with your attorney, and you may need to pay for parking at the courthouse for any bankruptcy-related hearings. Depending on your employment status, you might need to factor time out of work for hearings and other bankruptcy issues into your budget.
Contact Our Las Vegas Bankruptcy Attorney Today!
Do you have more questions or concerns about filing for bankruptcy? Our experienced Las Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyers are available for same-day consultations to help you erase debts and get back on track. We offer affordable rates and flexible payment plan options. Contact us or use our online form to get started with your free consultation today. Our Nevada Debt Relief Team looks forward to assisting you!
Las Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyers