As premier bankruptcy attorneys in New York, we understand that the decision to file for bankruptcy isn’t an easy one. Luckily, our specialists are here to help you through every step of the process. Ready to get started? Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Debt is like a rising tide: It can sneak up on you quickly. By the time you realize you’re in deep, it may be too late to escape on your own. As the water rises, you may find that your only option is to reach for the life preserver and file for bankruptcy.
To many people, bankruptcy is a bad word; they associate it with failure or financial ruin. As New York’s top bankruptcy attorneys, we see it for what it is—a chance for you to try again. It’s a tool for getting the creditors off your back so you can take time to reassess your direction and get on with your life.
Like everything else, bankruptcy comes at a cost. However, the fees and expenses associated with the process are a small price to pay for the freedom that follows. It is important to understand, though, that bankruptcy comes with many financial and legal implications that will affect you for years to come. To understand them fully, you need to work with a legal expert.
Fortunately, the team at Jacoby & Jacoby is here for you. With over 75 years of combined experience, our attorneys have helped more than 40,000 satisfied clients find debt relief. Although the cost of filing for bankruptcy depends on the unique details of your situation, rest assured we can help you find the best, most cost-effective way forward.
Keep reading to learn more about the cost of various types of bankruptcy, contributing factors and how our Long Island bankruptcy attorneys can help you take control of your financial future.
Need debt relief right now? You’ve come to the right place. Call Jacoby & Jacoby at (888) 452-2629 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of New York’s most experienced bankruptcy lawyers.
Which Type of Bankruptcy Are You Filing for?
Although many small factors contribute to your bankruptcy expenses, the majority of cost comes down to just a few big ones. The largest factor in considering cost depends on which type of bankruptcy you’re pursuing. To illustrate this, we’ll review bankruptcy in three common forms: Chapter 7, Chapter 13 and Chapter 11.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Relief from Unsecured Debt
Chapter 7 is the simplest, most commonly used form of bankruptcy. It is designed to relieve individual consumers from most types of unsecured debt.
Rather than a reorganization of debt, it is purely a liquidation process. It’s important to note that some debts are nondischargeable, including criminal fines, alimony, recent taxes, child support and student loans.
The primary costs associated with Chapter 7 Bankruptcy are as follows:
- Filing fee, which is currently $338 in New York
- Attorney fee, which varies according to attorney and the complexity of your case
Most of the time, Chapter 7 is the best choice for individuals who need fast debt relief from creditors. However, to qualify for this type of bankruptcy, you will need pass the means test, which evaluates your income in relation to the income of other same-size households in your state.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Debt Consolidation/Reorganization Plan
Although Chapter 13 is also designed to relieve consumers from significant debt, it differs from Chapter 7 in several key ways. Rather than a liquidation process, this form of bankruptcy consolidates debt and requires debtors to make monthly payments to their creditors.
Consumers typically file for Chapter 13 when they don’t pass a means test and therefore don’t qualify for a Chapter 7. However, they may also file for a Chapter 13 voluntarily, as it offers unique advantages for people facing foreclosure or repossession, or for people who don’t want to risk liquidation of certain valuable assets.
The primary costs of filing for a Chapter 13 include the following:
- Filing fee, which is currently $313 in New York
- Attorney fees, which vary according to the details of the case
Whereas the Chapter 7 process may only take four or five months, Chapter 13 is much lengthier. Consumers opting for the latter may face a three to five year process in which they must maintain the agreed-upon payment schedule to creditors.
Is It Cheaper to File Without an Attorney?
Like with many legal processes, debtors can technically file for bankruptcy without an attorney’s assistance. In doing so, they can save on attorney fees, but the decision may ultimately cost them much more money.
That’s because bankruptcy is highly complex and affects consumers’ and businesses’ financial standing for years to come. Without legal expertise, an individual may be unaware of the potential benefits and drawbacks of each type of bankruptcy, or they may make critical errors when filling out forms and filing. They may also miss opportunities for exemptions, credits and other advantages.
So is it cheaper to file without an attorney? Technically, filing without a lawyer costs you less money upfront. However, going at it alone puts you at a huge disadvantage in the long term, and you risk inadvertently squandering your chance for a fresh financial start.
Jacoby & Jacoby: Top Bankruptcy Lawyers in New York
Filing for bankruptcy can be intimidating, but at the end of the day, it’s a lot less scary than treading water in a rising sea of debt. And despite what your creditors would have you believe, its impact on your credit won’t last forever. In fact, filing for bankruptcy may even offer unique benefits, especially when you partner with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
If you’re ready to take accountability for your debt and find effective solutions, we’re ready to take that journey with you. And the best part? Getting started is as easy as contacting us to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our compassionate legal experts.