The overall cost of filing for bankruptcy (such as hiring an attorney and getting a copy of your credit report) will vary depending on the complexity of the case and a number of factors, but the filing fees are consistent. According to the Fee Schedule listed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas, the bankruptcy filing fees are $338 for Chapter 7 and $313 for Chapter 13, as of December 1, 2020.
As of May 1, 2021, filing fees must be paid to the clerk of the bankruptcy court by money order or cashier’s check only. Cash, personal checks, and credit or debit cards are not accepted by the court. The cashier’s check or money order must be made out to “Clerk, US Bankruptcy Court” for the exact dollar amount.
Do I Have to Pay to Get a Copy of My Credit Report?
Another cost frequently associated with bankruptcy is obtaining a copy of one’s credit report. Fortunately, there are ways to obtain this information for free. Consumers can acquire a free credit report once every 12 months under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act. You can get your current credit report from each of the three main credit reporting bureaus in the U.S.: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
At the time of this blog, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion are offering free weekly credit reports on their jointly operated website, www.annualcreditreport.com, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if you’re not considering bankruptcy or are in the early stages of looking for debt relief, monitoring your score is a good idea. Interest rates and approvals on loans, leases, and lines of credit all hinge upon your credit rating. You can also spot and correct potential errors or omissions on your credit report.
Do I Really Need to Pay for a Bankruptcy Attorney?
As an individual debtor, you are not required by law to hire an attorney to handle your filing. Corporations and partnerships must be represented by an attorney, however. The U.S. Bankruptcy Courts strongly recommend seeking an attorney’s advice due to the complexity of bankruptcy laws and the lasting legal and financial impact of the process.
Court employees and judges are not allowed to give you legal advice, and if you decide to file without an attorney, you’re responsible for understanding and following local rules of the court, the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, and Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. This is a lot for any one person to take on, particularly without an education in bankruptcy law or a legal degree. Paying for a bankruptcy attorney can help you avoid a considerable amount of trouble and even save you money in the long run.
Call My Fort Worth Bankruptcy Firm
As a bankruptcy lawyer with over 20 years of experience, I know what you’re up against when dealing with overwhelming debt. I believe in helping individuals, families, and businesses experience the relief that bankruptcy can offer, through the ethical and proper application of bankruptcy protection, liquidation, and reorganization.
To find out more about what it will cost to file bankruptcy in Texas and how I can help, call (817) 576-1889.