Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Guide
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida, as with any legal process, involves various costs. It's essential to understand these expenses as you consider whether this is the right path for you to take for financial relief. Here, we break down the typical costs associated with filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida.
The first cost you'll encounter is the court filing fee, set by federal law. The cost to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $338. This fee goes directly to the court and is non-negotiable.
Credit Counseling and Debtor Education Courses
Before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must complete a credit counseling course. After filing, you must complete a debtor education course before your debts are discharged. The cost for these courses varies but typically ranges from $15 to $50 each.
While it's possible to file for bankruptcy without an attorney, also known as "pro se," it's highly recommended to hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney due to the complexity of the process. Attorney fees can vary widely based on your location, the complexity of your case, and the attorney's experience level. In Florida, attorney fees for a simple Chapter 7 case can range from $1,000 to $2,500. More complex cases may be more costly.
There may be additional costs for things like pulling your credit report, copying documents, or any additional court fees if you need to file motions or if your case involves unique complexity.
It's also important to note that fee waivers or installment payments for the court filing fee are available for individuals who can demonstrate they cannot pay. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help guide you through this process.
While the costs of Chapter 7 bankruptcy can seem high, weighing them against the amount of debt that could potentially be discharged is crucial. For many people, the financial relief gained from a successful bankruptcy far outweighs the initial cost of filing.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended as legal advice. Please consult a legal professional for advice pertaining to your specific situation. The fees and costs mentioned here are based on the last update in September 2021 and may have changed.