Cost to File Bankruptcy in Georgia (2024)

Bankruptcy can feel like an overwhelming journey, but understanding the cost to file and the estimated bankruptcy attorney fees in Georgia 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.

The cost of filing for bankruptcy in Georgia may seem straightforward, but there are some factors to consider that can make the answer a little more complex. In 2024, the filing fees for Chapter 7 bankruptcy cost $338, while Chapter 13 bankruptcy costs $313. However, if you decide to hire a bankruptcy attorney or if you're hoping to get the filing fees waived, things can get a bit more nuanced.

We wanted to get a more accurate estimate of how much hiring a bankruptcy attorney in Georgia might cost, so we delved into the public records database called PACER. It cost us around $1,000 to access this database, but it was worth it. Based on our findings, as of 2024, the range for Chapter 7 attorney fees in Georgia can be anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000. Keep in mind that this is still an estimate, so if you'd like a more precise estimate based on your location in Georgia, feel free to try out the free Georgia bankruptcy cost calculator below.

Now, you might be wondering how you can afford the cost of bankruptcy in Georgia, especially when you're already struggling to pay your bills. And with interest rates and inflation still on the rise in 2024, it's a valid concern. While some bankruptcy costs, like the filing fee and credit counseling courses, tend to be relatively similar, the real game-changer is the cost of attorney fees. Depending on whether you're in Atlanta or Augusta, the range for these fees can vary dramatically.

So, in this article, our goal is to provide you with estimated all-in costs, which include:

  1. Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
  2. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

Estimate the All-In Bankruptcy Cost in Your Zip Code

We've been getting a ton of questions about the cost of bankruptcy in Georgia, so we decided to do something about it. We've gone ahead and created a database of attorney fees to help you out. To find out how much bankruptcy might cost you in your city in Georgia, all you gotta do is enter your zip code below. Once you've entered your zip code, you'll get an estimate of the cost of bankruptcy in your city.

1. Actual Lawyer Costs By District In Georgia

Even though we've already displayed a variety of bankruptcy attorneys' fees, the total cost will depend on a few other factors. 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. However, given how important the location is, let's examine the actual costs as shown by the Georgia bankruptcy district map and statistics from Pacer filings.

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 in Georgia

Georgia Northern District

Covering a significant expanse, Georgia's Northern District includes major urban centers like Atlanta, Marietta, and Gainesville. Operating within the Eastern Time zone, this district spans 46 counties. It features a central courthouse in Atlanta and additional court facilities throughout the district, overseen by 12 active district judges and 6 magistrate judges. The diverse economic activities and vibrant communities in Georgia's Northern District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within Georgia's Northern District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $2,000.00 to $2,122.00. 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.

Georgia Middle District

Encompassing a significant region, Georgia's Middle District includes major urban centers like Macon, Columbus, and Albany. Operating within the Eastern Time zone, this district spans 70 counties. It features a central courthouse in Macon and additional court facilities throughout the district, overseen by 5 active district judges and 3 magistrate judges. The diverse economic activities and vibrant communities in Georgia's Middle District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within Georgia's Middle District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $500.00 to $1,127.00. 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.

Georgia Southern District

Covering a substantial area, Georgia's Southern District includes major urban centers like Savannah, Augusta, and Valdosta. Operating within the Eastern Time zone, this district spans 43 counties. It features a central courthouse in Savannah 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 Georgia's Southern District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within Georgia's Southern District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $1,062.00 to $1,350.00. 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.

2. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Fees Georgia

Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in Georgia might hit you with a price of $4,250. The actual fee can vary depending on the district. Now, when it comes to Chapter 7 attorney fees, they can sometimes be all over the place. However, Chapter 13 fees tend to be more consistent thanks to something called "no-look fees." These fees are like a ballpark figure that represents a fair cost for the services provided. However, make sure to double-check if the attorney charges an hourly rate for any extra work after you've filed for Chapter 13. 

3. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

Bankruptcy filing costs can be quite similar no matter where you are in the United States, not just in Georgia.

Bankruptcy Filing Fees

First off, there's this thing called a fee schedule. Which provides the costs for filing for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Now, If you're going for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the filing fee is gonna set you back $338. To break it down, that's $245 for the filing fee, $78 for the administrative fee, and an extra $15 for a trustee surcharge.

If you're leaning towards Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the filing fee is a little lower at $313. That's $235 for the filing fee and $78 for the administrative fee.

Now, you may be thinking, "What if I can't afford filing?" Well, there might be some options for you. You could try paying the fee in installments, like breaking it up into smaller chunks. Or, if things are really tough, you might even be able to get the fee waived altogether. For more info on fee waivers, you can check out the Georgia filing fee information. 

Georgia Filing Fee Waiver Guidelines

You might be eligible to have your filing fees waived if you fall below 150% of the Georgia poverty guidelines. It’s important to take a look at Georgia’s Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Income limits and see where you fall in the guidelines.

 Let me break it down for you. In 2022, here are the poverty guidelines for different household sizes in Georgia: - For a household of one, the guideline is $13,590. - If you've got two people in your household, the guideline is $18,310. - Three people? The guideline is $23,030. - Four people? It's $27,750. - Five people? You're looking at $32,470. - Six people? The guideline is $37,190. - Seven people? It's $41,910. - Eight people? You're looking at $46,630. - And if you've got nine or more people in your household, you add $4,720 for each additional individual. So, if your household income falls below these guidelines, you could potentially have your Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fees waived. It's a great way to get some financial relief during a challenging time. Remember, these guidelines are specific to Georgia, so make sure to check the poverty guidelines for your state if you're not in Georgia. 

Mandatory Course Costs

There are an extra couple of things to consider when filing bankruptcy. First, you'll need to complete a Georgia-approved credit counseling course in Georgia. And that's not all! You'll also have to enroll in a Georgia-approved debtor education course. But don't worry, you can usually take both of these courses online from the comfort of your own home. On average, you can expect to shell out anywhere between $10 to $50 per course.

Miscellaneous Costs

One of the steps when filing for bankruptcy is gearing up for a meeting of creditors at the courthouse. That's an important step in the bankruptcy process. There are a couple of things you should know beforehand. First off, you might have to shell out some cash for transportation to get to the courthouse. Your attorney might also ask you to pay for a credit report as well. Don't worry though, they might be able to lend a hand in getting that report sorted. It's always good to have someone in your corner. Now, let's talk money. You're probably wondering how much you'll have to spend on transportation.

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 Georgia by district and looking up your nearest bankruptcy court.

Will Inflation Affect the Cost To File Bankruptcy in Georgia?

There's been some talk about inflation and how it might affect attorney fees. Let's dive into the details and see how it could impact the filing fee and attorney costs in Georgia. First things first, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee got a little upgrade. It went from $335 to $338. And the Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fee also got a slight bump from $310 to $313. These changes went into effect on December 1st, 2020. Now, when it comes to attorney fees, things might get a bit more interesting. Inflation can put pressure on bankruptcy attorneys to pay their employees more and deal with higher living costs, especially in cities like Augusta or Columbus, or all over Georgia. So, there's a chance you might see some inflation creeping into those attorney fee costs. It's all about keeping an eye on the situation and staying informed. 

Would My Bankruptcy Cost Be Higher in Atlanta Than Columbus?

You're living in Georgia, and you're facing a tough decision: should you hire a local attorney or head to a bigger city like Augusta to save on bankruptcy costs? It's a valid concern.

Now, let's talk numbers. Atlanta, with its whopping population of 504,527, might make you think that bankruptcy attorney fees would be higher there compared to a smaller city like Columbus.

But here's the twist. While the cost may indeed be higher in Atlanta, the city also boasts a larger pool of bankruptcy attorneys. And when there's more competition, prices tend to drop. So, believe it or not, you might find that the total cost of filing for bankruptcy, including attorney fees, could be much higher in your town than in Atlanta.

Most bankruptcy attorneys offer something called a "free bankruptcy consultation." It's a chance for you to gather multiple perspectives without spending a dime. And if that's not enough, we've got a little tool down below - our bankruptcy cost calculator. It takes all those variables into account and provides an all-in cost estimate just for you. 

Why Do Some Attorneys Charge Higher Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Fees? 

First off, if you're in Augusta and comparing prices from different bankruptcy attorneys, you might notice that the costs can differ. That's because each attorney sets their rates and fees. They may look similar, but they're not exactly the same.

Now, when it comes to Chapter 13 bankruptcy, things are a bit different. In Columbus, most Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys charge the same amount. They have something called a "no-look fee," which is a standard fee for the services they provide. So, you can expect some consistency there.

But here's where it gets interesting - Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney fees can vary greatly. And that's why it's crucial to understand what you're getting for the extra cost. You don't want to be caught off guard.

So, what determines the cost of a bankruptcy lawyer? Well, there are 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 Atlanta or Augusta.
  4. The level of connection you have with the attorney.
  5. The attorney's expertise - how many years of experience they have.

Let's say you're making $10,000 above the median income for Georgia and you want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In this case, the attorney might need to spend extra time reviewing your expenses to determine if you qualify. And as you can imagine, extra time means extra money.

If you want to dive deeper into this topic and learn more about bankruptcy lawyer fees, check out this article: "Understanding Bankruptcy Lawyer Fees.

Conclusion

I hope this article has shed some light on the all-in costs of filing bankruptcy with a bankruptcy lawyer. If you still have questions or want to get a more personalized estimate, go ahead and try out the free Georgia bankruptcy cost calculator below. It'll give you a better idea of what you're looking at. 

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