COST OF BANKRUPTCY
CHAPTER 7 COST
FILING FEE = $338.00 (cannot be waived when you hire an attorney, regardless of income)
ATTORNEY'S FEES = $700.00 (we have not raised our prices in 11 years)
TOTAL TO FILE = $1,038.00
In chapter 7, although the attorneys fees will vary from office to office, court fees are always the same. Understand that both court fees and attorney's fees are always paid up front to your attorney prior to filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Attorneys are required to take these payments up front according to local rules. Lawyers are in fact prohibited from collecting payments from you after you file because they then become a creditor of yours and what you owe them gets discharged in your bankruptcy.
CHAPTER 13 COST
FILING FEE = $313.00
UP FRONT* ATTORNEY'S FEES = $200.00 (*All attorneys in chapter 13 are paid over time through your monthly plan payments to the court. The two questions to ask are 1. What does the attorney charge up front to file the case? and 2. Does the attorney accept the flat fee set by Missouri law at $4,800.00 total, or do they charge an hourly rate that will add up to more than that? We take the flat fee set by law, (unless your income is limited to Social Security or SSI, in which case we will accept less). We collect $200.00 of that flat fee up front for our time and effort to prepare a case, and then we receive the remaining $4,600.00 over the course of the 3 to 5 years of monthly payments to the court.
TOTAL UP FRONT COST TO FILE = $513.00
Although the attorney's fees in chapter 13 are substantial, most people save much more than they pay in fees via lowered interest rates on secured debts, no interest accumulation on other debts, and payment plans that do not pay anything back on unsecured, non-priority debts (which are discharged at the end of a chapter 13 bankruptcy whether they get paid or not). $4,600 over 36 months comes to $127.78 per month average. $4,600.00 over 60 months comes to $76.67 per month average.
Chapter 13 also potentially comes with unique benefits such as stopping a foreclosure or a repossession, and allowing you to catch up on these debts over time when the lender wouldn't. The unique benefits that can only be received in a chapter 13 can easily justify the cost.
The other consideration is that the success rate of chapter 13's filed pro se (meaning without a lawyer) in St. Louis is 0% (statistic provided by BAMSL - Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis).
FORMS OF PAYMENT ACCEPTED:
MONEY ORDER / CASHIER'S CHECK
VENMO & CASHAPP
NO CREDIT OR DEBIT CARDS - We will not pay the 6%-10% transaction fees, for both receipts
and refunds, and we will not pass that cost on to you! Transaction fees are contributing to inflation.
Call (314) 896-1999 if you have questions or to make an appointment!