One of the main reasons why people avoid filing for bankruptcy is they worry about how much it will cost. It might not cost as much as you fear, and there are some options for gathering the money to file or waiving the fees.
Bankruptcy filing fee
Filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Louisiana is $313, and filing for a Chapter 7 is $338. It could be possible for you to waive the fee or pay it in installments. Those who live under 150% of the poverty line in Louisiana may waive the fee. For a one-person household, this level was $13,590 in 2022. The poverty line changes often, so you should check for the year you’re filing.
Credit counseling course
Many people worry that the credit counseling course is expensive, but it’s only $10–$50 for each course. Louisiana requires that you take an approved credit counseling course and a debtor education course.
Attorney fees are $2,400–$2,800 for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Louisiana. Chapter 7 bankruptcies usually cost $800–$1,500 for the attorney fees. Factors that affect how much you may have to pay are the complexity of your case, where you live, the attorney’s experience with bankruptcy and the attorney’s level of connections.
How to afford bankruptcy
Many people who file for bankruptcy use the money that they receive from their tax returns to afford it. Other methods of gathering the funds include crowdfunding, pro bono and negotiating a plan. You could set up a crowdfunding account asking for donations to cover the costs of filing for bankruptcy. Some lawyers offer pro bono work, which means you don’t have to pay for their services. You would need to meet eligibility requirements, such as having a low income, for this option. Another option is to negotiate a payment plan or a lower cost with an attorney.
The total cost of bankruptcy in Louisiana ranges from $1,133 to $3,238. You can find options that might reduce or eliminate fees if you’re unable to cover the costs.