How Much Does It Cost to File Bankruptcy?

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF® | Reviewed by Editorial Team

Updated on December 16, 2022

The cost of bankruptcy can vary depending on your circumstances.

In general, filing Chapter 7 costs $335, about $100 in possible additional fees, and between $1,000 and $3,500 for a lawyer. Chapter 13 costs $310 to file, about $100 in possible additional fees, and between $2,000 and $5,000 for a lawyer.

How Much Does Filing Bankruptcy Cost?

As of 2019 filing bankruptcy costs $335 for chapter 7 and $310 for chapter 13.

These are only basic filing fees, however, and you could pay about $100 for mandatory debt counseling courses or other expenses, plus between $1,000 and $5,000 for a bankruptcy lawyer.

How Much Does a Bankruptcy Lawyer Cost?

How much a bankruptcy lawyer will cost depends on your state of residence and circumstances.

In general, you can expect to pay between $1,000-$3,500 for chapter 7 and as much as $5,000 for chapter 13. Generally the amount of money saved by bankruptcy lawyers exceeds the cost of hiring one.


What does bankruptcy mean?

Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding in which a debtor declares their inability to pay back their creditors.

What are the different types of bankruptcy?

There are three common types of bankruptcy known as “chapters” in the U.S. bankruptcy code, Ch. 7, Ch. 11, and Ch. 13, each with varying criteria and consequences.

What is Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 is known as a liquidation bankruptcy. Most of your property will be sold to pay off your debts, then whatever debt in excess of the value of your liquidated property will be cleared.

What is Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization bankruptcy. With Chapter 13, you are able to keep your personal property and reorganize your debts to a payment schedule that enables you to pay back your creditors over time (often 3 to 5 years).

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.

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