Cost to File Bankruptcy in Arkansas (2024)

Bankruptcy can feel like an overwhelming journey, but understanding the cost to file and the estimated bankruptcy attorney fees in Arkansas is the first step.
Information in this article does not constitute legal advice, it is for informational purposes only, and may not constitute the most up-to-date information. Readers should contact their attorney for advice on any particular legal matter.

So you're thinking about filing for bankruptcy in Arkansas, but you're not sure how much it's going to cost you. The cost of filing for bankruptcy in Arkansas is $338 for Chapter 7 and $313 for Chapter 13 in 2024. However, it may not be as simple as just giving you a single number. The cost of bankruptcy can vary depending on a few factors, like whether you hire an attorney and if you qualify to have the filing fees waived. But don't worry, I've done some digging for you to give you a ballpark estimate.

First things first, let's talk about attorney fees. We dug deep and spent around $1,000 on PACER, a public records database that contains bankruptcy attorney fees, to get a more accurate estimate of attorney fees in Arkansas. As of 2024, the range for Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney fees in Arkansas is somewhere between $800 and $1500. Keep in mind, that this is just an estimate, so it's always a good idea to get a more accurate figure based on your specific location in Arkansas.

You’re probably wondering how are you supposed to afford bankruptcy when you're struggling to pay your bills. With interest rates and inflation still causing headaches in 2024, it's not an easy task. But here's the deal: some bankruptcy costs, like the filing fee and credit counseling courses, tend to be pretty similar across the board. However, the real wild card is those attorney fees. Depending on whether you're in Little Rock or Fort Smith, the cost can vary quite a bit.

So, to sum it all up, this article is here to give you an idea of the all-in costs of filing for bankruptcy in Arkansas. We'll be covering two main areas:

  1. Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
  2. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

Estimate the All-In Bankruptcy Cost in Your Zip Code

We've been getting a lot of inquiries about the cost of bankruptcy in Arkansas, so we decided to do some digging and create a nifty database of attorney fees just for you. Now, you can find out how much it might cost you to file for bankruptcy in your city in Arkansas. Just enter your zip code below and you'll get an estimate of the cost of bankruptcy tailored specifically to your location. 

1. Actual Lawyer Costs By District In Arkansas

You've already seen a range of bankruptcy attorneys' costs, but there are a few more factors that will influence the total. A few factors that affect the overall cost are the bankruptcy lawyer's location, the complexity of the case, the attorney-client relationship, and the expert's degree of knowledge. But since the location is so important, let's examine the actual costs as shown by the data from Pacer files and the map of Arkansas bankruptcy districts.

See the map below to determine which district you reside in, then scroll down to see actual legal fees.

Map of Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas

Arkansas Eastern District

Covering a substantial area, the Eastern District of Arkansas includes major cities like Little Rock, Jonesboro, and Pine Bluff. Operating within the Central Time zone, this district spans 41 counties. It features a central courthouse in Little Rock and additional court facilities throughout the district, overseen by 4 active district judges and 2 magistrate judges. The diverse economic activities and vibrant communities in Arkansas's Eastern District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within Arkansas's Eastern District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $600.00 to $900.00. It's crucial to bear in mind that this is an estimate, and actual expenses may fluctuate based on factors such as your financial situation and the choice of legal representation.

Arkansas Western District

The Western District of Arkansas is a sizable region that contains important cities including Texarkana, Fort Smith, and Fayetteville. Covering 34 counties, this district is in the Central Time Zone. Four district judges and two magistrate judges are now in office, and the district includes a central courthouse in Fayetteville as well as several court facilities spread out over the area. The Western District of Arkansas's thriving communities and varied economic activity add to the region's overall wealth.

The projected cost of filing for bankruptcy can vary for citizens of Arkansas's Western District who live close to these key areas; it often falls between $1,100.00 and $1,250.00. It is important to remember that this is only an estimate and that actual costs may change depending on a variety of factors, including your financial status.

2. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Fees Arkansas

Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in Arkansas can charge around $2800 - $3000. The exact fee may vary depending on the district. While Chapter 7 attorney fees can differ, Chapter 13 fees are often similar due to "no-look fees," which are considered a fair cost for the services provided. However, it's worth checking if the attorney charges an hourly rate for any extra work after filing for Chapter 13.

3. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

Bankruptcy filing costs are pretty much the same throughout the entire United States, not just in Arkansas. However, there are some other costs you need to keep in mind too.

Bankruptcy Filing Fees

The US Courthouse has a fee schedule and bankruptcy forms that lays it all out for you.

Now, if you're going for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the filing fee is $338. That's broken down into a $245 filing fee, a $78 administrative fee, and a $15 trustee surcharge.

If Chapter 13 bankruptcy seems more like the way to go, the filing fee is a bit lower at $313. That includes a $235 filing fee and a $78 administrative fee

If you're strapped for cash and can't afford the filing fee. There might be some options for you. You could pay the fee in installments or it could be waived altogether. You can find all the details about filing fees in Arkansas over here.

Arkansas Filing Fee Waiver Guidelines

If you're thinking about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but worried about the fees, I've got some good news for you. You might be able to have those fees waived if you meet certain criteria. One of those criteria is being below 150% of the Arkansas poverty guidelines. Be sure to check out Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Arkansas Income Limit

For cases filed within Arkansas in 2022, here are the poverty guidelines based on the number of people in your household: - 

  • For a single person, the income limit is $13,590. 
  • If there are two people in your household, the guideline is $18,310. 
  • For three people, it's $23,030. 
  • If you've got four people, the guideline is $27,750. 
  • Five people? The guideline is $32,470. 
  • Six people? It's $37,190. 
  • Seven people? $41,910. 
  • Eight people? $46,630.  
  • And if you have nine people in your household, the guideline is $51,350. 

If you have more than nine people, you'll need to add $4,720 for each additional individual. Remember, these guidelines are set at 150% of the poverty level, so if your income falls below these amounts, you might be eligible to have those Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fees waived. It's worth looking into if you're in a tough financial spot.

Mandatory Course Costs

Before you jump into the bankruptcy process, there are a couple of courses you'll need to take in Arkansas. Don't worry, though - you can do them online!

First up is the credit counseling course. This course is designed to help you understand your financial situation and explore alternatives to bankruptcy. It's a good opportunity to get some guidance and figure out if bankruptcy is the right choice for you. The cost for this course is usually between $10 and $50. 

Once you've completed the credit counseling course, it's time for the debtor education course. This one is all about helping you develop the skills and knowledge you'll need to manage your finances after bankruptcy. It's like a crash course in financial literacy. Again, you can take this course online, and the cost is similar to the credit counseling course.

Now, here's the important part - both of these courses need to be approved. I've got the list of approved courses right here. You can check out the Arkansas credit counseling courses and the Arkansas debtor education courses to find one that suits you.

So, there you have it - the lowdown on the credit counseling and debtor education courses in Arkansas. They may be a small investment of time and money, but they'll help you on your journey to financial freedom.

Miscellaneous Costs

If you've got a meeting of creditors coming up at the courthouse, it's important to know that you might have to shell out some cash for transportation to get there. On top of that, you might also have to cover the cost of a credit report for your attorney. Your attorney might be able to lend a hand with getting that credit report sorted. Let's talk numbers. You're probably wondering how much this whole transportation thing is gonna set you back.

We’ve made it easier for you to figure that out by hovering over to your district using this interactive map below showing bankruptcy courthouses in Arkansas by district and looking up your nearest bankruptcy court.

Will Inflation Affect the Cost To File Bankruptcy in Arkansas?

There's been some talk about inflation and how it might affect attorney fees. First things first, let's talk about the filing fee. Now, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee recently went up from $335 to $338, while the Chapter 13 filing fee increased from $310 to $313. So, I wouldn't sweat it too much. It's unlikely that these filing fees will have a major negative impact on you. Now, let's shift our focus to attorney fees. Inflation can put pressure on bankruptcy attorneys, pushing them to pay their employees more and deal with higher costs of living. And this isn't just limited to big cities like Fort Smith or Fayetteville; it's something that attorneys across Arkansas might have to face. So, what does this mean for you? Well, you might see some inflation-related increases in attorney fee costs. It's all about balancing the scales here. While inflation might nudge those costs up a bit, remember that attorneys are also working hard to provide you with the best possible service.

Would My Bankruptcy Cost Be Higher in Little Rock Than in Fayetteville?

You might be sitting at home in Arkansas, pondering over whether to hire a local attorney or venture into a bigger city like Fort Smith to save some money on bankruptcy costs.

Little Rock, the capital city of Arkansas, boasts the highest population in the state with around 197,881 people. With such a bustling population, you might assume that bankruptcy attorney fees would be sky-high in Little Rock compared to a smaller city like Fayetteville.

While the cost of bankruptcy might indeed be higher in Little Rock, there's a twist. The city also boasts a larger number of bankruptcy attorneys, which means more competition and potentially lower prices. So, in reality, you might find that the total cost of filing bankruptcy, including attorney fees, could be much higher in your city than in Little Rock.

Most bankruptcy attorneys offer free consultations. That means you can gather multiple perspectives without spending a dime. Our bankruptcy cost calculator below takes into account all those variables and provides you with an all-in cost estimate. 

Why Do Some Attorneys Charge Higher Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Fees? 

When it comes to bankruptcy attorneys in Fort Smith, comparing prices can be quite a hassle.

Now, here's the deal. Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in Fayetteville usually charge the same amount. It's called a "no-look fee" - a regular fee for the services provided. When it comes to Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys, the fees can vary big time. So, it's crucial to understand what you're getting for that extra money.

Let's break it down. The cost of a bankruptcy lawyer often depends on a few factors:

  1. The type of bankruptcy you're filing - Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
  2. The complexity of your case - whether you have assets or not.
  3. Your location - whether you're in Little Rock or Fort Smith.
  4. The level of connection you have with the attorney.
  5. The attorney's expertise - how many years they've been in the game.

For instance, imagine you're making $10,000 more than the median income for Arkansas, but you still want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Well, in that case, the attorney might need to spend some extra time going through your expenses to see if you qualify. And therefore - more time means a higher cost overall.

If you're curious to learn more about bankruptcy lawyer fees and how they work, check out this article: "Understanding Bankruptcy Lawyer Fees." It'll give you a deeper understanding of what to expect and help you make an informed decision.

Conclusion

I hope this article has given you some helpful info to understand the all-in costs of filing for bankruptcy with a lawyer. But hey, if you still have questions, don't hesitate to reach out. And if you wanna get a quick estimate of the costs specific to Arkansas, check out the free Arkansas bankruptcy cost calculator below.

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