Cost to File Bankruptcy in Florida (2024)

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

The cost of filing for bankruptcy in Florida can be a bit tricky to pin down. According to the U.S Bankruptcy Court in Florida, in 2024, the filing fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $338, while it's $313 for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. But here's the thing, it gets more complicated when you bring in a bankruptcy attorney or try to get the filing fees waived. 

So, we did some digging and managed to get a ballpark figure for attorney fees in Florida by shelling out around $1,000 on PACER, a public records database that has bankruptcy attorney fee information. As of 2024, we found that the Chapter 7 attorney fees can range from $1,000 to $3,000. Keep in mind that this is just an estimate. If you want a more accurate estimate based on your location in Florida, go ahead and give our free Florida bankruptcy cost calculator a try.

Now, you're probably wondering how on earth you can afford bankruptcy in Florida when you're already struggling to pay your bills. And let's not forget about those pesky interest rates and inflation that just won't quit in 2024. The good news is that many bankruptcy costs, like the filing fee and credit counseling courses, are pretty similar across the board. However, the real wild card is the cost of attorney fees, which can vary wildly depending on whether you're in Jacksonville or Miami.

So, here's the deal: this article is all about giving you an idea of the total costs involved in filing for bankruptcy. 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 questions about the cost of bankruptcy in Florida, so we decided to do some digging. We've built a database of attorney fees just for this purpose! All you need to do is enter your zip code below to get an estimate of how much bankruptcy might cost you in your city in the Sunshine State.

And there you go! You'll get a handy estimate tailored to your specific location.

Actual Lawyer Costs By District In Florida

Although we have listed a variety of bankruptcy lawyers' fees above, the exact price will vary depending on a few different criteria. The ultimate cost depends on a number of factors, including complexity, location, degree of attorney relationship, and the bankruptcy lawyer's experience. However, location plays a major role, therefore let's examine the Florida bankruptcy district map and actual fees from Pacer filing data.

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

                                                                                      Map of Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida

Florida Northern District

The Northern District of Florida encompasses a region including prominent cities such as Tallahassee, Panama City, and Pensacola. This district includes both the eastern and central time zones, is composed of 23 counties, and has 7 judges across 4 courthouses. 

Residents in proximity to these major cities can anticipate a bankruptcy filing fee within the range of $1,225.00 and $2,000.00. Of course, this is only a rough estimate and costs can always vary widely depending on financial circumstances, the lawyer you work with, and a multitude of other factors. 

That said, here are some actual lawyer charges in the Florida Northern District

Florida Middle District

The Central District of Florida encompasses significant cities such as Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville. Operating within the Eastern time zone, this district spans a diverse area, covering 13 counties and housing 15 judges across multiple courthouses.

For residents in proximity to these major cities within Florida's Central District, the expected bankruptcy filing fee typically falls between $1,500.00 and $1,750.00. It's essential to recognize that this estimate provides a general overview, and actual costs can vary based on individual financial situations, legal representation choices, and other pertinent factors.

Now, let's explore specific lawyer charges within the Central District of Florida.

Florida Southern District

The Southern District of Florida encompasses major cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, covering an extensive region. Operating in the Eastern time zone, this district comprises 9 counties and is served by 15 judges across various courthouses.

If you reside in proximity to these significant cities within Florida's Southern District, the expected bankruptcy filing fee typically falls between $1,500.00 and $3,000.00. It's essential to note that this is a general estimate, and the actual costs may vary based on your financial situation, the legal professional you work with, and various other factors.

Now, let's explore specific lawyer charges within the Southern District of Florida.

In the sunny state of Florida, Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys can charge you anywhere from a grand to three grand. Yep, that's right, it's gonna cost you some dough. But here's the kicker, as mentioned above, the actual cost can vary depending on a few factors. Let me break it down for you.

First up, complexity. If your case is as simple as pie, you might be on the lower end of the cost spectrum. But if things get a bit more tangled up, you can expect those numbers to climb.

Next, we've got location. Just like in real estate, it's all about location, location, location. If you're in a major city, like Miami or Orlando, you might find yourself shelling out a bit more moolah for your bankruptcy attorney.

Now, here's where things get interesting. The level of attorney connection can also play a role in the cost. If your lawyer has some fancy connections or a big reputation, you might be looking at a higher bill. It's like paying extra for that designer label, you know?

Last but not least, we've got expertise. If your lawyer is a seasoned pro with years of experience under their belt, you can bet your bottom dollar that they'll charge you a pretty penny for their services.

So, there you have it. The cost of Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida can vary depending on how complicated your case is, where you're located, the attorney's connections, and their level of expertise. Now, let's take a look at what you can expect to pay in each district in Florida.

2. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Fees Florida

Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in Florida can charge around $3500 to $4000. The exact fee may vary depending on the district. Now, when it comes to Chapter 7 attorney fees, they can vary more. However, Chapter 13 fees are often quite similar. This is because they are based on something called "no-look fees," which are considered a reasonable cost for the services provided. But hey, don't forget to check if the attorney charges an hourly rate for any extra work done after filing Chapter 13. It's always good to know all the details, right?

3. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

Bankruptcy filing costs can really add up, and they're not just limited to Florida. In fact, these costs are pretty similar all across the United States. So, if you're thinking about filing for bankruptcy, it's important to be aware of all the expenses involved. Let's take a look at some of the other costs you need to consider.

Bankruptcy Filing Fees

The US Courthouse has a fee schedule and a bankruptcy form that you can use to find out how much you need to pay to file for bankruptcy. If you're filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the filing fee is $338. This includes a $245 filing fee, a $78 administrative fee, and a $15 trustee surcharge. On the other hand, if you're filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the filing fee is $313, which consists of a $235 filing fee and a $78 administrative fee.

Now, I know what you might be thinking - what if you can't afford the filing fee? Well, there's good news. You may have options. You could potentially pay the fee in installments or even have it waived altogether. That's right, waived! Pretty cool, huh? If you want to learn more about this, check out the Florida filing fee information and the details below.

Florida Filing Fee Waiver Guidelines

If you're thinking about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida, I've got some good news for you. You might be able to get your filing fees waived if you meet certain criteria. One of those criteria is having an income that falls below 150% of the Florida poverty guidelines. 

Now, let's break it down a bit. The Florida poverty guidelines are a way to determine if someone's income is low enough to qualify for certain benefits or assistance. For cases filed in 2022, here are the income limits based on the number of people in your household:

- If you're a single person, your income should be below $13,590.

- For a household of two, the limit is $18,310.

- If there are three people in your household, the limit is $23,030.

- For four people, it's $27,750.

- Five people: The limit is $32,470.

- Six people: $37,190.

- Seven people: $41,910.

- Eight people: $46,630.

- And if you have more than eight people in your household, you can add $4,720 for each additional individual.

So, if your income is below these thresholds, you may be eligible to have your Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fees waived. It's definitely worth looking into if you're in a tough financial situation. Just make sure to check the official Florida poverty guidelines to see if you qualify.

Mandatory Course Costs

When you're in a tough spot financially and have to declare bankruptcy, there are a couple of courses you need to take in Florida. They're called credit counseling and debtor education courses, and they're pretty important. But don't worry, you can usually take them online, which makes things a lot more convenient.

Now, let's talk about the cost. On average, these courses will set you back around $10 to $50 each. Not too bad, right? But here's the catch: you can't just take any old course. They have to be approved by the powers that be. Lucky for you, I've got the scoop on where to find the list of approved courses.

For credit counseling, head over to the Florida credit counseling courses page. And if you're looking for debtor education courses, check out the Florida debtor education courses page. Oh, and don't forget to keep an eye out for the cost associated with each course. That way, you'll know exactly what you're getting into.

Miscellaneous Costs

So, you've got a meeting of creditors coming up at the courthouse, huh? Well, here's the deal: you might have to shell out some cash for transportation to get there. And that's not all – you might also have to cough up some dough for a credit report if your attorney can't help you out with that.

Now, I know what you're thinking – how much is all of this gonna cost me? Well, fret not! Below, you’ll find a map of all the bankruptcy courts located in Florida, just hover over to your nearest location and you can find out how far it would cost you to get you there.

Will Inflation Affect the Cost To File Bankruptcy in Florida?

So, there's been talk about inflation slowing down in 2024 and how it might affect attorney fees. The big question is, will attorney fees in Florida rise or stay the same? Let's dive into this and see if inflation could have an impact on filing fees and attorney costs.

First things first, let's talk about the filing fees for bankruptcy cases. As of December 1st, 2020, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee was updated from $335 to $338, while the Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fee went up from $310 to $313. Now, these changes are pretty minor, so it's unlikely that the filing fee will have a negative impact on you.

However, when it comes to attorney fees, things might be a little different. Inflation could lead to higher costs for bankruptcy attorneys. They might have to pay more to their employees and deal with the rising cost of living, especially in cities like Miami or Orlando, or even across the entire state of Florida.

Would My Bankruptcy Cost Be Higher in Jacksonville Than in Orlando?

You're sitting in your cozy Florida suburb, contemplating whether to hire a local attorney or go big and seek help from a Miami-based accountant to save some cash on bankruptcy costs. It's a tough decision, no doubt.

Now, with a population of 907,953, Jacksonville takes the crown as the most populous city in Florida. Naturally, you might assume that the cost of bankruptcy attorney fees would be higher there compared to a place like Orlando.

But here's the twist: while the cost may indeed be higher in Jacksonville, there's also a higher number of bankruptcy attorneys in the mix. And you know what that means? Competition! Increased competition can lead to lower prices, which might just balance things out. So, don't be surprised if you find that the total cost of filing for bankruptcy, including those pesky attorney fees, could actually be lower in Jacksonville than in your city.

Now, here's a nifty little nugget of information for you: most bankruptcy attorneys offer free consultations. That means you can shop around and get multiple perspectives without spending a dime. How cool is that? Oh, and by the way, we've got this fantastic bankruptcy cost calculator below that takes all these variables into account. It'll give you a nifty estimate of the total cost, so you can plan ahead.

Why Do Some Attorneys Charge Higher Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Fees?

You know what they say, comparing prices is the name of the game. So, picture this: you're in Miami, looking for a bankruptcy attorney. You decide to check out two different attorneys and what do you find? Well, surprise, surprise! The costs vary between these legal eagles.

Now, here's the deal. When it comes to Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in Orlando, they tend to charge the same amount across the board. Why? Well, it's all thanks to something called the "no-look fee." It's like a normal fee for the services they provide. Now, when it comes to Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys, things get a little more interesting. The fees can vary a lot, so it's important to understand what you're getting for that extra dough.

Now, let's break it down. The cost of a bankruptcy lawyer often depends on a few key factors:

  1. The type of chapter you're filing, like Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
  2. The complexity of your case, whether it's a no-asset or asset case.
  3. Your location, because hey, Miami and Jacksonville ain't the same.
  4. The level of connection you have with the attorney. Are they your long-lost cousin or just a stranger in a suit?
  5. The attorney's expertise. How many years of experience do they have under their belt?

Let's say you're making $10,000 more than the median income in Florida and you still want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Well, guess what? The attorney might have to spend some extra time going through your expenses to see if you even qualify for Chapter 7. Even though you're above the median, it's a whole different ball game. And you know what extra attorney time means, right? Yep, a higher overall bankruptcy cost.

If you're curious to know more on this topic, check out this article: Understanding Bankruptcy Lawyer Fees

Conclusion

We’ve covered a lot, so in summary, the price tag depends on where you live and the type of bankruptcy you're filing. The biggest factor that affects the total cost is the attorney fee. For a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you're looking at shelling out anywhere between $1000 and $3000. If you're going for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it's gonna be a bit pricier, ranging from $3500 to $4000. That's a chunk of change, no doubt about it.

Now, I hope this article has been helpful in giving you a better idea of what it'll cost you to file bankruptcy with a lawyer. But hey, if you've still got questions or you wanna get a more precise estimate, check out the nifty Florida bankruptcy cost calculator below. It'll give you the lowdown on the numbers. Good luck!

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