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The average bankruptcy filing costs between $1,500 and $4,000, including attorney fees and court filing fees.
If you represent yourself pro se in your bankruptcy matter, you can significantly reduce these costs. Express Bankruptcy Petitioners offers a cost-effective alternative to high fees that prohibit some people from pursuing bankruptcy when it is their best option. According to Debt.org, America’s debt help organization, the total filing fee for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $335. An administrative fee of $75, trustee surcharge fee of $15, and re-opening of a Chapter 7 filing fee of $260 may apply as well. While attorneys’ fees vary, the average attorney’s fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $1,472.
Chapter 7 is that part of the federal bankruptcy laws permitting a person to discharge certain debts by filing a case in the bankruptcy court, turning all of his or her nonexempt property over to a trustee, and obeying the orders and rules of the court. A person who files under Chapter 7 is called a debtor.
If you do not hire a accountant or lawyer to handle your bankruptcy case, you may need to do a bit of research or receive advice about which chapter to file under, whether your debts can be discharged, the tax consequences of filing, and how to access the correct forms. However, bankruptcy forms are free and available to the public, and this is where Express Bankruptcy Petitioners can step in to assist you in preparing and filing your bankruptcy petition. After we complete the forms, you can deliver them to the bankruptcy court, which will assign you a bankruptcy trustee. Then a bankruptcy judge will rule on your eligibility and discharges, although debtors are rarely required to appear in court.
*Guaranteed Results Or Your Money Back. “We Guarantee 100% Money-Back Fee Of $99.00” this is only subject to dismissal due to our performance.
All debts of any kind or amount, including debts incurred in other states, are released by a Chapter 7 discharge, except those listed below. The following types of debts cannot be discharged under Chapter 7:
- Debts for certain taxes, including taxes that became due within the last three years;
- If the creditor files a complaint and if the court so rules, debts for obtaining money, property, services, or credit by means of false pretenses, fraud, or a false financial statement (included here are certain debts for luxury goods or services and for certain cash advances made within 60 days before the case is filed);
- Debts not listed on the debtor’s Chapter 7 papers, unless the creditor had notice or actual knowledge of the case in time to file a claim. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that debtor’s omission of claim from schedules in a no asset case did not preclude discharge of claim because no deadline was set for filing proofs of claims, therefore, creditor received notice in time to permit timely filing of proof of claim. See In re Madaj, 149 F3d 467 (6th Cir. 1998);
- If the creditor files a complaint and if the court so rules, debts for fraud, embezzlement, or larceny;
- Debts for alimony, maintenance or support, with certain very limited exceptions;
If the creditor files a complaint and if the court so rules, debts for intentional or malicious injury to the person or property of another;
- Debts for certain fines or penalties;
Debts for student loans, unless not discharging the debt would impose an undue hardship on the debtor and his or her dependents;
- For death or personal injury caused by the debtor’s operation of a motor vehicle if such operation was unlawful because the debtor was intoxicated;
- Debts that were or could have been listed in a previous bankruptcy case of the debtor in which the debtor did not receive a discharge;
- Debts arising from any act or fraud or defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity committed with respect to any depository institution or insured credit union;
- Debts which arose from the debtor’s malicious or reckless failure to fulfill any commitment to a federal depository institutions regulatory agency regarding the maintenance of capital of an insured depository institution;
- Any payment of an order of restitution issued under Title 18, United States Code (added by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994);
- Loans incurred to pay federal taxes that would be nondischargeable pursuant to ‘523(a)(1);
- If the creditor files a complaint and the court rules, debts, other than those covered in ‘523(a)(5) (subsection 5 above) that are incurred by the debtor in the course of a divorce or separation agreement that satisfy at least one of the following criteria:
(a) the debtor does not have the ability to pay such debt from income or property of the debtor not reasonably necessary to be expended for the maintenance or support of the debtor or a dependent and if the debtor is engaged in a business, for the payment of expenditures necessary for the operation of such business; or
(b) discharging such debt would result in a benefit to the debtor that outweighs the detrimental consequences to a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor;
Fee or assessments that become due after the filing of a petition to membership associations with respect to the debtor’s interest in a dwelling unit that has condominium ownership, or in a share in a cooperative housing corporation, but only for the period the debtor either lived in or received rent for the condominium or cooperative unit.
Everyone is eligible for a Chapter 7 discharge except the following persons:
- Those who have been granted a discharge in a Chapter 7 case filed within the last eight years;
- Those who have been granted a discharge in a Chapter 13 case filed within the last six years, unless payments under the plan in such case totaled 100% of the unsecured claims or 70% of such claims and the plan was proposed in good faith and was the debtor’s best effort;
- Those who file a waiver of discharge in their Chapter 7 case that is approved by the court;
- Those who conceal, transfer, or destroy their property with the intent to defraud their creditors or the trustee in the Chapter 7 case;
- Those who conceal, destroy, or falsify records of their financial condition or business transactions;
- Those who make false statements or claims in their Chapter 7 case, or who withhold recorded information from the trustee in the case;
- Those who fail to satisfactorily explain any loss or deficiency of their assets;
- Those who refuse to answer questions or obey orders of the bankruptcy court, either in their case or in the case of a relative, business associate, or corporation, or;
- The debtor is not an individual.
Any person who resides in, who does business in, or who has property in the United States may file under Chapter 7, except a person who has been involved in another bankruptcy case that was dismissed within the last 180 days on certain grounds.
It may not be wise, however, for a debtor to file under Chapter 7 if he is not eligible for a Chapter 7 discharge or if some of his debts will not be released by a Chapter 7 discharge.
Also, it may not be wise for a debtor with sufficient current income with which to repay a substantial portion of his debts within a reasonable period to file under Chapter 7, because the court may dismiss the case as constituting an abuse of Chapter 7.