How much does it cost to file bankruptcy in Utah (Chapter 7 or 13)? or What are your attorney’s fees to file bankruptcy?

I hate this question, and to be honest, I’ve put off writing this blog post for over a year.  

First off, I will really try to price match, so don’t automatically call the lowest bidder.

Short Answer:  $500 up front to file a chapter 13 or a chapter 7.

Total fees go like this:

 

Chapter 7:  total attorney’s fees are $1,200 and total court filing fees $335.

Chapter 13:  total attorney’s fees range from $3,000 to $3,500 (set by court) and total court filing fees $310.

So either way, you pay $500 up front to get it filed.

Here is your breakdown for a chapter 7:

You pay $500 to file the case.  Next, you have to pay the filing fees to the court in installments.  So let’s say that you paid $500 and filed a chapter 7 today, then you would pay the court as follows:

$100 in 2 weeks

$100 in 4 weeks

$135 in 8 weeks.

Once those court fees are done, you would start paying the remainder of my fees (the other $700) at $100 a month.

If you can pay cash up front, I will discount my fees to $1,000 for a chapter 7.

Here is your breakdown for a chapter 13:

You pay $500 to file the case.  Next you have to pay the filing fees to the court as follows:
$100 in 2 weeks

$100 in 4 weeks

$110 in 8 weeks

In a Chapter 13, you also make one monthly payment to the bk trustee to cover your car payments, back taxes, mortgage arrears, etc.  My remaining fees come out of this monthly payment.

Every attorney in the state is awarded the same fees in a chapter 13.  So you really won’t save any money by shopping around.  Some attorneys will charge $0 down for a chapter 13, but I’ve found that if my clients don’t have a little skin in the game (down payment), then they never take the bankruptcy seriously).

My fees are fairly comparable to the other bankruptcy firms, and I think that I can speak for all of us (bankruptcy attorneys) when I tell you that you are getting a smoking deal!  I bill out at $300 an hour, so if I were billing you for a bankruptcy instead of a flat fee, your fees would look like this:

$150 initial consultation (.5 hour x $300)

$1,200 document gathering and draft paperwork (4 hours x $300)

$300 correspondence and follow-up prior to 341 meeting (1 hour x $300)

$450 attend 341 meeting with bk trustee (1.5 hours x $300)

$300 follow-up with client (1 hour x $300)

$300 review/sign/file reaffs (1 hour x $300)

$300 correspond with client, file form 23 (1 hour x $300)

So the total would be $2,900 if I could bill out my time, but if I tried to do that, I would lose you to all of the other flat fee attorneys filing cases for $1,200.

I hate the whole charging fees thing because I really did get into this to help people, but it turns out that I need to charge something to keep the lights on.  That’s why my fees are right in the middle for bankruptcy firms:  I’m not the cheapest, and I’m definitely not the most expensive).