Cost to File Bankruptcy in Maryland (2024)

Bankruptcy can feel like an overwhelming journey, but understanding the cost to file and the estimated bankruptcy attorney fees in Maryland 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 Maryland can be a bit tricky to figure out. While the filing fees for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies are $338 and $313 respectively in 2024, there are a few factors that come into play, like whether you decide to hire a bankruptcy attorney or if you're eligible to have the filing fees waived. So, let's dive into the details and break it down for you.

Now, we wanted to get an accurate estimate of how much bankruptcy attorneys in Maryland charge. So, we did some digging and spent around $1,000 on a public records database called PACER. We found that as of 2024, the range for Chapter 7 attorney fees in Maryland is between $899 and $2,000. Keep in mind, though, that this is just an estimate. If you want a more precise figure based on your exact location in Maryland, we've got a free bankruptcy cost calculator for you.

Now, let's address the big question on everyone's mind: How can you afford bankruptcy in Maryland when you're struggling to pay your bills? Trust me, I feel you. With interest rates and inflation still causing headaches in 2024, it's tough out there. But here's the thing - while some bankruptcy costs, like the filing fee and credit counseling courses, are pretty similar across the board, attorney fees can vary quite a bit depending on where you are in Maryland. Whether you're in Baltimore or Columbia, the difference can be significant.

So, in this article, we're going to give you an idea of the all-in costs of filing for bankruptcy in Maryland. We'll cover two main components:

  1. Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
  2. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

By the time you're done reading, you'll have a clearer picture of what it takes to navigate the bankruptcy process in Maryland. 

Estimate the All-In Bankruptcy Cost in Your Zip Code

We've been getting a ton of questions about how much it costs to file for bankruptcy in Maryland. We went ahead and put together a database of attorney fees just for you. All you need to do is enter your zip code below, and you'll get an estimate of the cost of bankruptcy in your city in Maryland.

1. Actual Lawyer Costs By District In Maryland

While we have shown a range of bankruptcy attorneys' fees above, there are a few more elements that will determine the final cost. The location of the bankruptcy lawyer, the intricacy of the case, the attorney-client dynamic, and the level of expertise of the expert are some of the variables that influence the total cost. But since the location is so crucial, let's look at the true expenses as reported by the Pacer filing data.

Maryland District

Covering a considerable area, the District of Maryland includes major cities like Baltimore, Annapolis, and Frederick. Operating within the Eastern Time zone, this district spans 24 counties. It features a central courthouse in Baltimore and additional court facilities across the district, overseen by 8 active district judges and 4 magistrate judges. The diverse economic activities and vibrant communities in Maryland's District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within Maryland's District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $1,625.00 to $2,395.00. It's crucial to keep 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 Maryland

Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney fees in Maryland can set you back around $3,500. Of course, the actual cost may vary depending on the district you're in. Now, when it comes to Chapter 7 attorney fees, they tend to differ more from case to case. But for Chapter 13, things are a bit more standardized. They have something called "no-look fees," which are considered a fair and reasonable cost for the services provided. However, it's worth checking if the attorney charges an hourly rate for any extra work that might come up after you've filed for Chapter 13. So, it's always good to have a clear understanding of the fees involved before diving into the bankruptcy process.

3. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

Bankruptcy filing costs are no different in Maryland than in other parts of the United States. So, if you're thinking of going down that road, you gotta be aware of the other expenses that come along with it. Let me break it down for you.

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. Check out the Maryland filing fee information.

Maryland Filing Fee Waiver Guidelines

If you're considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you might be able to have your filing fees waived. To qualify for the fee waiver, you need to be below 150% of the poverty guidelines in Maryland. Be sure to check out Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Maryland Income Limit.

Mandatory Course Costs

There are a couple of courses you need to take in Maryland: a credit counseling course and a debtor education course.

These courses are often available online, which means you can complete them from the comfort of your own home.

Now, let's talk about the cost. The average price for each course ranges from around $10 to $50. It's not too bad considering the benefits you'll gain from taking these courses. However, keep in mind that the courses must be approved. Be sure to check out the credit counseling courses. And if you're looking for the list of approved debtor education courses as well. These resources should also give you the lowdown on the cost associated with each course.

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 Maryland by division and looking up your nearest bankruptcy court.

Will Inflation Affect the Cost To File Bankruptcy in Maryland?

So, there's been talk about inflation calming down in 2024, and people are wondering if that means attorney fees won't go up. Let's dig into whether inflation could have an impact on filing fees and attorney costs in Maryland.

Now, the filing fees for Chapter 7 bankruptcy recently went up from $335 to $338, and for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, they went up from $310 to $313. These changes took effect on December 1st, 2020. But don't worry, these increases are so small that they're unlikely to put a dent in your wallet.

However, when it comes to attorney fees, there might be some inflation-related effects. You see, inflation can push bankruptcy attorneys to pay their employees more and deal with higher living costs, especially in cities like Columbia, Germantown, and all across Maryland.

Would My Bankruptcy Cost Be Higher in Baltimore Than in Germantown?

Baltimore, with its population of 594,282, might seem like the obvious choice for higher bankruptcy attorney fees compared to smaller towns like Germantown. That may not be the case.

Yes, the cost may indeed be higher in Baltimore, but here's the twist: there's also a greater number of bankruptcy attorneys in the city. And what does that mean? Competition. When there's competition, prices tend to drop. So, you might just find that the total cost of filing bankruptcy, including those pesky attorney fees, could be much higher in your town than in Baltimore.

Most bankruptcy attorneys offer free consultations. You can get multiple perspectives without spending a dime. Our bankruptcy cost calculator below takes all these variables into account to give you an estimate of the all-in cost.

Why Do Some Attorneys Charge Higher Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Fees? 

You might be surprised to find that attorney costs can vary like crazy between two attorneys right here in Columbia.

Now, if you're considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy, things are a bit different. Those attorneys in Germantown tend to charge the same amount, thanks to something called a "no-look fee." It's like a normal fee they charge for the services they provide. The attorney fee for Chapter 7 can vary big time. So, it's crucial to understand what exactly you're getting for that extra cost.

When it comes to the cost of a bankruptcy lawyer, there are a few factors that come into play. Let me break it down for you:

  1. The type of bankruptcy you're filing. Are you going for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?
  2. The complexity of your case. Is it a no-asset or asset case?
  3. Your location. Are you in Baltimore or Columbia?
  4. The level of connection you have with your attorney.
  5. The attorney's expertise. How many years of experience do they have?

Imagine you're making $10,000 more than the median income for Maryland, but you still want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Well, in that case, the attorney might have to spend some extra time going through your expenses to see if you would even qualify for Chapter 7. Which means a higher overall bankruptcy cost.

If you want to dive deeper into the topic and explore bankruptcy lawyer fees, I recommend checking out this article: Understanding Bankruptcy Lawyer Fees. It will provide you with more insights 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 Maryland, check out the free Maryland bankruptcy cost calculator below.

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