You cannot turn on the TV or read a newspaper without seeing an advertisement from a law firm specializing in bankruptcy. There are so many people filing for bankruptcy that the cost has come down significantly…well almost. These ads indicate that you can start your bankruptcy for as little as $600 in some cases. What they do not tell you up front is that is just the beginning of what it will cost you. Once you pay the initial filing fees, you are locked into the process. If you run out of money, then you either withdraw the bankruptcy filling or pony up more. Here are some examples of how much bankruptcy actually costs.
First, the cost to begin a bankruptcy is just that, the amount you need to put up to get the initial filing. For some consumers, this initial filing is necessary to stop foreclosure proceedings and wage garnishments. Due to the new bankruptcy statutes, consumer credit counseling is now mandatory. The cost is about $75 each for the pre-filing credit counseling and the pre-discharge financial education course. Regardless of how much money you may have or not have, you must complete this step or your bankruptcy will not be discharged. There are administrative fees that are paid to the trustee as well.
The majority of bankruptcies need to be amended once the process gets underway. This is because after pulling additional credit reports additional creditors may surface or debts that are sold off to various collection agencies must be amended to include each new creditor. Each amendment costs $26 and the average number of amendments per case is between 8 and 10.
If you begin a chapter 13 case and are unable to meet the payment plan, then your filing changes to a chapter 7 case, again costing you more money. If you have property that is not worth the value of what is owed and seek to keep it that will cost you $150. This is referred to as compelling abandonment of property.
After the bankruptcy is discharged, then you need to begin credit repair. While your debts have been discharged legally, until they are reflected as such on your credit report, you are still considered as liable for them for credit granting and reporting purposes. Even if you take the bankruptcy paperwork into a car dealership, for example, and show them proof that the debts they are seeing on your credit report have been discharged, they will still be unable to give you a car loan. The credit report is the ruling document in all credit matters.