Understanding the cost of filing for bankruptcy in Louisiana is essential for individuals seeking financial relief. At Simon Fitzgerald LLC, we provide accurate and persuasive information to guide you through the bankruptcy process, ensuring transparency and clarity regarding the associated costs. Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys are committed to helping you navigate the process effectively while considering your financial situation.
When considering bankruptcy in Louisiana, it’s essential to understand the cost differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Both types of bankruptcy come with their own set of fees and expenses, which can significantly impact your financial planning.
Chapter 7, often referred to as liquidation bankruptcy, typically involves a quicker process and lower costs. The filing fee for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Louisiana is currently set at $338.00. However, this does not include the attorney fees, which can range between $1,000.00 and $2,000.00, depending on the complexity of your case. Additional costs may include credit counseling or financial management classes and the cost of pulling your credit report. It’s important to note that the entire fee for Chapter 7 must be paid up-front. This requirement creates a potential conflict of interest, as attorneys cannot collect fees after filing since unpaid fees are discharged as unsecured debts. At Simon Fitzgerald, we understand the need for flexibility. That’s why we’re willing to work with you on creative solutions that may allow you to pay for Chapter 7 in installments. While we cannot file your case until the fee is paid in full, we will begin preparing it and advise you on how to handle your creditors during this time.
Chapter 13, also known as reorganization bankruptcy, generally has lower up‑front costs to file. The filing fee for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is $313.00. This makes Chapter 13 the most popular bankruptcy filed because you are typically only required to pay $330.00 upfront, which is the court costs, credit counseling, and a credit report fee. Attorney fees and costs for Chapter 13 are typically higher than for Chapter 7, but because they can be paid through your Chapter 13 plan, the increased fees, which range from $2,500.00 to $4,700.00, often feel easier to afford since you don’t have to pay them upfront. The increased fee is due to Chapter 13 cases involving the creation of a repayment plan, which requires more court filings and paperwork. Additionally, the representation lasts 36B60 months rather than 4B6 months. Keep in mind that in almost all our Chapter 13 cases, we don’t charge any legal fees upfront. Those are typically paid monthly through your Chapter 13 plan payments. For anyone needing immediate relief from creditors’ collection efforts, Chapter 13 is a great option to file a case and get protection.
In conclusion, while Chapter 7 bankruptcy may have lower up‑front costs, the total cost of your bankruptcy will depend on various factors, including the complexity of your case and the type of bankruptcy you choose. It’s crucial to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to understand all the potential costs and choose the best path for your financial situation. Remember, the decision to choose an attorney should not be based solely on price. All attorneys in Louisiana typically charge about the same amount. The decision should be based on who you feel will do the best job explaining your options and creating a solution that solves your financial issues.
Are there any additional expenses besides the filing fee to consider when filing for bankruptcy in Louisiana?
In addition to the filing fee, there may be other expenses to consider when filing for bankruptcy in Louisiana. Our attorneys will provide you with comprehensive and persuasive answers, ensuring you understand all the potential costs involved.
- Filing Fee: The filing fee is a mandatory fee paid to the bankruptcy court when submitting your bankruptcy petition. As of 2023, the filing fee for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Louisiana is $338.00 and for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is $313.00. Our attorneys will provide you with the most up‑to‑date fee information and guide you through the payment process.
- Credit Counseling and Financial Management Courses: Before filing for bankruptcy, individuals are required to complete credit counseling and financial management courses from approved agencies. These courses typically involve a fee, which can vary depending on the provider. The cost of credit counseling varies depending on the agency you choose, but it typically ranges from $15.00 to $50.00. Our attorneys will help you identify reputable agencies and understand the associated costs.
- Attorney Fees: Hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney is highly recommended to navigate the complex bankruptcy process. Attorney fees vary depending on the complexity of your case and the services provided. In general the attorney fees are:
Chapter 7: Often referred to as liquidation bankruptcy, typically involves a quicker process and lower costs. The attorney fees, which can range between $1,000.00 and $2,000.00, depending on the complexity of your case. Additional costs may include credit counseling or financial management classes and the cost of pulling your credit report. It’s important to note that the entire fee for Chapter 7 must be paid up-front.
Chapter 13: Also known as reorganization bankruptcy, it has lower up‑front fee. Typically $330.00, the court costs, credit counseling, and credit report charge are all that is requested to be paid before filing. The lower up from costs makes Chapter 13 the most popular bankruptcy filed However, attorney fees and costs for Chapter 13 are typically higher than for Chapter 7, but because they can be paid through your Chapter 13 plan, the increased fees, which range from $2,500.00 to $4,700.00, often feel easier to afford since you don’t have to pay them up front.
- Miscellaneous Expenses: Depending on your specific circumstances, there may be additional expenses to consider, such as costs for obtaining credit reports, postage fees for mailing documents, and potential costs associated with required document translations. Our attorneys will help you identify and plan for any additional expenses related to your bankruptcy case.
Is there any assistance available for individuals who cannot afford the filing fees in Louisiana?
For individuals who cannot afford the filing fees in Louisiana, there may be assistance available to help alleviate the financial burden. Our attorneys are committed to ensuring access to justice and will provide you with accurate and persuasive information regarding fee waivers and other potential options.
- Fee Waiver: In certain situations, individuals may qualify for a fee waiver, which exempts them from paying the filing fee. Eligibility is based on financial need, and specific criteria must be met. Our attorneys will assess your circumstances and determine if you qualify for a fee waiver.
- Installment Payments: If you cannot afford to pay the filing fee up-front, the bankruptcy court may allow you to make installment payments. This option allows you to pay the fee in smaller, manageable increments. Our attorneys will help you explore this option and guide you through the process.
- Pro Bono Services: In some cases, individuals who meet certain income requirements may be eligible for pro bono legal services provided by volunteer attorneys. Our attorneys can help connect you with organizations that offer pro bono services and explore if you qualify for this assistance.
At Simon Fitzgerald LLC, we understand the financial challenges individuals face when considering bankruptcy. Our attorneys are committed to helping you explore all available options and find the best solution for your situation, ensuring that financial limitations do not prevent you from seeking the relief you need.
For more information, you can visit: U.S. Courts ‑ Bankruptcy Basics
Uncertain about the bankruptcy filing process? If you have any specific questions, our bankruptcy experts are always here to help. When you’re ready, you can check your eligibility for bankruptcy right here.