How Much Does It Cost to File for Bankruptcy in Ohio?

Calculating the cost of a bankruptcy filing

In Ohio, the cost of filing for bankruptcy varies depending on the attorney’s fee, case complexity, the chapter of the bankruptcy case that you select, and where you reside. Bankruptcy court filing fees are currently $335 for a chapter 7 and $310 for a chapter 13. These fees go up every few years. 

Every lawyer wants to be compensated for the time they spend on your case. A complex case will take longer, leading to higher attorney fees. For simple chapter 7 cases, costs can range from $1,000 to $1,500 on average. Since chapter 13 cases are more involved, they usually cost more than a chapter 7 bankruptcy, and range from $3,000 to $4,000 to start. Additional fees may be necessary if your attorney has to intervene in your case in the years following the filing.

What Factors Can Increase Fees?

Certain factors can increase your Ohio bankruptcy costs regardless of where you are located in the state, the attorney you hire, or the complexity of your case. These factors include:

  • Cases involving both personal and business bankruptcies at the same time
  • If you have more than one source of income.
  • You are earning anything higher than Ohio’s average income for your household’s size.
  • An individual with a large number of creditors.
  • You had filed for other bankruptcy cases in the last eight years.
  • Stopping a legal action such as a bank levy, eviction, and repossession of property that was used as loan collateral.
  • You are being suspected or accused of fraud.
  • You have debts such as student loans, past-due taxes, child support, or any other non-dischargeable debts.

Bankruptcy Education Courses

One additional fee that must be accounted for covers credit counseling. The completion of two credit counseling courses is required for those who petition for either chapter 7 or chapter 13 cases. A nonprofit credit counseling agency can help you arrange to take the course. The fees for these courses can range anywhere from $10 to $50 and you can either take the courses in person or online.

How You Can Cut Bankruptcy Costs

Most people filing for bankruptcy have huge debts, many of which are unmanageable. However, regardless of your financial status, make sure you have everything documented before consulting an attorney. Unemployed residents, people with a disability, the elderly, and low-wage earners might get a fee reduction. Since there are consequences to your credit after filing for bankruptcy, it is important to discuss your situation with your attorney. If a disability or advanced age prevents you from rebuilding your finances after bankruptcy, your attorney may take that into account when they calculate their fees.

Recovering from bankruptcy is not easy. Nonetheless, a bankruptcy will be discharged after a successful chapter 7 case petition. Bankruptcy will reflect in your credit record for ten years, affecting your ability to get loans. A chapter 13 resolution will require you to adhere to a loan repayment plan, regardless of whether a court reduces your credits or not.

While you might be tempted to file your bankruptcy case without a lawyer, you need to consider the consequences. It sounds appealing to not have to pay attorney fees, but your chances of running into an issue that might cause your case to be dismissed are much higher if you don’t use a bankruptcy lawyer. If you fail to fully complete documents in a timely manner, or if you're up against a creditor who questions your financial disclosures, you could be poorly equipped to handle your own case. Please contact our team of experienced bankruptcy lawyers so that we can help you figure out the best course of action for your case.

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