The choice to file for bankruptcy is a big decision, both emotionally and financially. Individuals and families suffering with debt often wonder how much is going to cost to obtain debt relief through bankruptcy. How much does it cost to file for bankruptcy in Pennsylvania? To answer this question, it is important to understand how the cost of filing for bankruptcy is calculated. The cost to file bankruptcy is separated into three categories: Court Costs, Expenses & Attorney Fees.
Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Court Costs & Filing Fees
As of December 1, 2016 the Court Costs for filing for bankruptcy in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are as follows:
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition $335.00
Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Petition $1,717.00
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Petition $1,717.00
Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Petition $275.00
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Petition $310.00
Chapter 15 Bankruptcy Petition $1,717.00
All filing fees must be paid in full to the Court prior to filing the case. In addition, a completed Credit Counseling Certificate from an authorized third party must be obtained prior to filing. The costs associated with Credit Counseling are discussed in the bankruptcy expenses section of this article.
In some instances, it is necessary to re-open a bankruptcy case to obtain a discharge or to include a creditor. The Court costs to reopen a bankruptcy case in the Western District of Pennsylvania are as follows:
Cost to Reopen Chapter 7 Case $260.00
Reopen Chapter 9 Case $1,167.00
Fee to Reopen Chapter 11 Case $1,167.00
Reopen Chapter 12 Case $200.00
Cost to Reopen Chapter 13 Case $235.00
Reopen Chapter 15 Case $1,167.00
Bankruptcy Related Expenses
Other bankruptcy-related expenses include office expenses, transportation to and from hearings, conversion other legal expenses, postage, copies, amendments and similar. Many of these expenses are not immediately known until further along in a bankruptcy case. ‘
Cost to Convert Chapter 11 Case to Chapter 7 $15.00
Fee to Convert Chapter 12 Case to Chapter 7 $60.00
Convert Chapter 13 Case to Chapter 7 $25.00
Chapter 7 Case to Chapter 11 Conversion $922.00
Convert Chapter 13 Case to Chapter 11 $932.00
Bankruptcy Expenses in Pennsylvania
Credit Counseling Course ($25-$40)
Post-Filing Debtor Education Course ($25-$40)
Lien Search ($50-$200)
Credit Report (required for each debtor) ($30-$50)
Fax Costs & Printing Costs
Copies & Postage at Standard Industry Rates
Often times certified mail and/over overnight mail is necessary
Amended Bankruptcy Schedules ($31)
Parking/Transportation Costs to/from hearings and meetings
Adversary Proceeding Fee $350*’**
*** except the debtor does not have to pay a filing fee for filing an adversary proceeding in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case
Specific filing fees are charged when certain documents are filed in the case. There are also fees for specific services performed by the Clerk’s Office.
Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
Bankruptcy attorney fees vary based upon location, filing type and complexity of the case. While the fee range varies, most lawyers will a charge a fixed rate with an hourly fee for additional services or additional fees “built” into the plan. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you should schedule a free consultation with a licensed bankruptcy attorney in your area.
In most cases, there is no charge for the initial consultation and the attorney will assess your unique financial situation while advising you of the appropriate Chapter and costs associated with filing. A reputable bankruptcy lawyer will provide you with a written fee agreement which outlines all bankruptcy court costs, filing fees, bankruptcy related expenses and attorney fees.