If your next step in managing your debt is bankruptcy, you probably would like to know how much it costs. You may worry that it is too expensive; after all, the media represents lawyers as hugely expensive, and there are two parts to the cost of bankruptcy. Fortunately, although the overall cost of the bankruptcy process does vary slightly, it is designed to be affordable for anyone who needs to file for bankruptcy.
The overall cost of bankruptcy is broken down into two parts, which makes it easier to pay for the process. The first part is the filing fee, which does not vary: if you are filing in Utah, you must pay $200 if you are filing a Chapter 7, and $185 if you are filing a Chapter 13. This fee cannot be waived, as the fee is used to cover the costs of processing your bankruptcy and other court costs; if you truly cannot afford to pay it all at once, however, it may be possible to pay in installments.
Aside from the filing fee, there are other costs of bankruptcy. This is because attorneys are highly-trained professionals who need to be paid for their time and the services they provide. In Utah, the generally accepted range of attorney fees runs from $900 to $1800 for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and roughly double that number for a Chapter 13; however, the fee will ultimately be determined by the complexity of your case. If you have questions about an individual attorney's or a firm's rates, all you need to do is make some phone calls or search the Internet.
Pro Bono Work and Waived Fees
While it is not common, there are special occasions in which an attorney recognizes the need for bankruptcy and waives the attorney fees altogether. When attorneys do this, it is called taking a pro bono case, and is only offered to people who honestly do not have the money to pay their attorneys. It is also occasionally to get part of your fees waived, although this is very uncommon as well; after all, bankruptcy costs are designed to be affordable to those who truly need to file.