Type of Bankruptcy
- The two main types of consumer bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is known as "straight" or "liquidation" bankruptcy because you essentially turn over valuable assets to the court in exchange for an elimination of your debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcy amounts to a three- to five-year payment plan in which you keep your assets in exchange for payments to your creditors. The fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $299 in every state, including Indiana. The filing fee for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is $274. You can apply for a fee waiver if your income is beneath 150 percent of the poverty level for a household of your size in Indiana.
- If you decide to work with an attorney, your cost will reflect the difficulty of your case. Generally speaking, Chapter 7 bankruptcies are less complicated than Chapter 13 bankruptcies, so the fee is typically lower. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will generally cost between about $750 and $3,500, with simpler cases in Indiana running toward the lower end of the scale. Most Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys charge in the neighborhood of $3,300 to $4,000. As with any service-oriented business, you can always find attorneys who will work for less than the standard range in Indiana, but you should assess the value you receive for the cost you incur.
Bankruptcy Petition Preparer
- If you do not want to hire an attorney but choose to file your bankruptcy "pro se," or on your own, you can hire a bankruptcy petition preparer service to help you complete the petition accurately. A bankruptcy petition preparer is a non-attorney document preparation service that takes your data and transfers it to the correct bankruptcy forms on your behalf. The average cost of a bankruptcy petition preparer is between $100 and $200.
- If you need to make any changes to your bankruptcy petition before your discharge, you must file an amendment with the court. Most amendments cost $26, although there are certain referenced amendments that are free of charge. The court may also grant a fee waiver for good cause.