bankruptcy filing fee

Filing for bankruptcy can be a great way to give yourself a fresh start when your debts start to become overwhelming. But it may come as a surprise that filing for bankruptcy in South Carolina typically isn’t free. The exact fees you’ll pay will depend on your situation and how you’re filing. Here’s what your South Carolina bankruptcy lawyer wants you to know about how much you could pay to have your debts settled.

The Filing Fees

Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy have different filing fees in the state of South Carolina. 

  • Chapter 7: Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fees are currently set at $338. This fee includes the filing fee itself, the administrative fee charged by the court, and a trustee fee to oversee the settling of your debts.
  • Chapter 13: Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fees are currently $313 which includes the filing fee and court administrative fee. 

These fees are set by the state and typically won’t change throughout the year. However, the state can review the fee structure regularly to determine if an increase is needed. 

Fees for Your South Carolina Bankruptcy Lawyer

Though you can file for bankruptcy on your own, most individuals prefer to work with an attorney. South Carolina bankruptcy lawyers help you navigate the process and can ensure that you’re submitting all necessary documentation on time and without errors. This streamlines your bankruptcy filing and can help you get the fresh start you need faster. 

But the fees you’ll pay will vary from lawyer to lawyer. That’s why it’s important to speak with several attorneys before you agree to work with one. Learn about their typical fees, find out how they charge for their services, and consider their expertise as you make your decision.

Credit Counseling Courses

South Carolina requires those going through bankruptcy to complete credit counseling courses. You’ll have to pay for each course. The fees range from $20 to $50. If you’re not sure which course is right for your situation, speak with your attorney and let them help you choose. 

What You Can Do if the Fees Are Too High

When you’re filing for bankruptcy, you likely don’t have a lot of money saved up, and covering the filing fees may not be feasible. You may be able to request a fee waiver from the court provided you make less than 150% of the South Carolina poverty line. If you’re single, that means you can’t make more than $16,767 and if you’re a married couple, you can’t make more than $22,678.

Keep in mind that this fee waiver only covers the filing fees with the court. You’ll still have to pay your attorney if you choose to hire one.

Bankruptcy Fees May Be Worth the Cost

If you’re struggling financially, filing for bankruptcy can seem expensive, but the fresh start it gives you can be well worth the cost. The best way to decide if bankruptcy is the right choice for your situation is to speak with a South Carolina bankruptcy lawyer. Contact Lam Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation.

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