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CA Lawyer
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Category: Bankruptcy Law
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Experience:  Bankruptcy Attorney
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Hi, I am planning on filing a chpt 13. I see so many sights

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Hi, I am planning on filing a chpt 13. I see so many sights for a chpt 7 (basically provide the info and they process the documents). Since I cannot seem to find anything for a 13 can you give me an idea of what an average cost would be? Obviously if I had a great deal of money I wouldn't be filing.. Thanks, katharine
Are you asking about the average cost to have an attorney do the filing, or just the filing fee cost?

Is there a reason why you want to do a Chapter 13 as opposed to the 7?

What area are you located in?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I don't qualify for a 7 because of my income. Before the credit cards and medical bills I have $600+ dollars of extra income.
I want to get an idea of a cost to have an attorney take my info and process the forms (or a paralegal?) I know the filing costs would be seperate.
I live in SE Aurora/Centenial
First, I would suggest consulting with an attorney. If you really look at your income and expenses and go through a schedule I & J you can project a realistic budget that will have less than $100 per month in disposible income. Even the means test, from my experience can be figured out with a little planning to qualify you for a 7 if you make less than $7000 to $8000 per month.

If it ends up that you can't do that honestly/realistically, then the 13 would be an option. You can typically find an attorney who will do the 13 for maybe $1000 to $2000 up front depending on the complexity and then the remainder of the legal fees to be paid through the plan. I have sometimes seen attorneys take only $500 up front (even $0.00 once or twice), although its not very common.

The cool thing about bankruptcy attorneys is that first, you can almost always find a few in your area who will do free initial consultations and get some good advice that way and second, they are usually the most affordable attorneys you will find and want to help you out/figure out a way to get the fees paid.

The filing fee for a Chapter 13 is $274. For a 7 its $299. You would also have to take a pre-filing and pre-discharge debtor education course, each one runs between $15 and $50 typically.

I ABSOLUTELY WOULD NOT RECOMMEND USING A PARALEGAL OR LEGAL DOCUMENT SERVICE. ESPECIALLY FOR A 13. I just had dinner with a bankruptcy judge the other night who was explaining to me that he hasn't been able to confirm one, not even one, Chapter 13 Plan filed by a pro se (self-represented) since the new laws went into effect. He is a very debtor friendly judge from my experience too. Bankruptcy is a complicated area of the law and the forms need to be filled out right. The paralegals/document services just basically type the forms for you, they don't do the legal work needed to protect your rights.


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