Make no mistake, people are filing for bankruptcy when they have reached their financial limits, but the unfortunate truth about filing for bankruptcy is that it will cost money to do so. People will need to be aware of the many costs that are inherent to bankruptcy cases in Arizona.
Bankruptcy fees may vary by the specific location in Arizona in which you file, as attorney fees are likely to be higher in Phoenix than they might be in, say, Tucson. While this might lead some people to seek attorneys in smaller cities, the truth is that there can be a greater concentration of bankruptcy lawyers in a major city which also means prices could be lower because of increased competition.
Bankruptcy Attorney Fees in Arizona
Most people who are filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy are going to need a lawyer to assist them in filing their case. There is no getting around the fact that a Chapter 7 case is going to cost much less than a Chapter 13 case because a lawyer has much more work to do in Chapter 13 cases.
On average, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney in Arizona should cost a person somewhere between $1,000 and $1,500, although a person’s amount of debt can impact prices. With the Chapter 13 case, we could be looking more at a $4,000-$5,000 range.
People should not think that they cannot file if they cannot afford to pay attorney’s fees all at once. Many lawyers will allow people to enter monthly or weekly payment plans.
Bankruptcy Filing Costs in Arizona
The District of Arizona United States Bankruptcy Court states that filing fees are generally $338 for Chapter 7 cases and $313 for Chapter 13 cases. There is also a $78 administrative fee and $15 trustee surcharge for Chapter 7 cases, but Chapter 13 filers only pay the administrative fee.
Some of the other filing fees include:
- Abandonment (Rule 6007(b)) — $188 for all cases
- Adversary Complaint including a Notice of Removal — $350 in a Chapter 7 case when filed by a trustee or attorney for the trustee and due at the time of filing, unless the trustee files a notice that there are insufficient funds. $350 in a Chapter 13 case when filed by a debtor in possession, an attorney for a debtor in possession, a trustee or attorney for the trustee, and due again at time of filing, unless a motion and order to defer payment is filed with the complaint. No filing fee when filed by a Chapter 7 or 13 debtor or debtor’s attorney.
- Amendment — $32 for all cases
- Appeal/Cross-Appeal — $298 for all cases
- Appeal/Cross-Appeal, Direct to 9th Circuit — $207 for all cases
- Archive Retrieval — $64 for all cases, first box only and $39 for each additional box
- CD of Hearing — $32 per compact disc
- Certification of Document — $11 for a single document plus copy fees.
- Claim Transfers — $26 for all cases for each claim transferred
- Computer Access to Court Database — $0.10 access fee per page from Internet
- Converting Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 — $25
- Copies — $0.50 per page copied and $0.10 for paper copies of documents or dockets printed from the court’s counter computers
- Deconsolidation / Splitting of Jointly Filed Case — $338 for Chapter 7 and $313 for Chapter 13
- Electronic Record Retrieval Fee — $19.90 judiciary administrative fee and flat rate record pull charge
- Electronic Record Retrieval Per Page Fee — $0.65 Federal Records Center (FRC) per page fee
- Exemplification — $23 for exemplification of any document plus copy fees
- Filing/Indexing — $49 for filing or indexing any paper in a case for which an initial filing fee was not paid
- Involuntary Petition — $338 for Chapter 7
- Motion for Sale of Property Free and Clear of Liens — $188
- Motion to Lift, Vacate, or Modify Stay — $188
- Motion to Withdraw Reference — $188
- Motion to Redact — $26
- Registration of Foreign Judgment — $49
- Reopening — $260 in Chapter 7 cases and $235 in Chapter 13 cases
- Reproduce Copy of Electronic Record Stored Outside of CM/ECF — $31 judiciary administrative fee for electronic record stored outside of CM/ECF
- Returned Check — $53 per NSF check returned
- Search Fee — $32 for each name or document searched.
Mandatory Classes Costs
The United States Department of Justice offers lists of approved Arizona credit counseling courses and Arizona debtor education courses. All individual bankruptcy filers must complete pre-bankruptcy credit counseling and pre-discharge debtor education.
The two courses cannot be provided at the same time. Credit counseling occurs before a person files for bankruptcy while debtor education happens after they file. A certificate of completion for both credit counseling and debtor education will be required before a person’s debts can be discharged.
Credit counseling agencies may charge reasonable fees for their services, but people who cannot afford fees should know that counseling agencies must provide services free or at reduced rates by offering a sliding fee scale, as well as a fee waiver for people below a certain income level (150 percent of the poverty level for a family of equal size).
Other Miscellaneous Costs
People can also amass many other costs relating to their bankruptcy case. For example, there will be the cost of gas or transportation to and from the courthouse.
People may also have to pay for credit reports to give to their attorneys. Some lawyers may be able to assist people in obtaining credit reports.
Filing Fee Waivers
A person hoping to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can apply for a fee waiver. They will need to complete Official Form 103B: Application to Have the Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived.
A person must prove to a court that they cannot afford to pay their fees and their income is less than 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, which are published by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. If people do not qualify for a fee waiver, they may still be able to complete Official Form 103A: Application for Individuals to Pay the Filing Fee in Installments so they can agree to pay their fees in four installments.
Contact Our Arizona Bankruptcy Law Firm
Are you in a tough financial spot right now and considering filing for bankruptcy anywhere in Arizona? Do not wait to get in touch with DebtBusters because we pride ourselves on being the friendliest bankruptcy lawyers in the state.
Our firm regularly helps people all over Arizona file for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Call (866) 223-4395 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our Arizona bankruptcy law firm.