Cost to File Bankruptcy in Massachusetts (2024)

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

If you're thinking about filing for bankruptcy in Massachusetts, you might be wondering about the cost. The filing fees for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will cost you $338, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will cost you $313 in 2024. If you decide to hire a bankruptcy attorney or if you're hoping to get those filing fees waived, things get a little more complicated.

We did some digging and spent around $1,000 on a public records database called PACER. This database contains all sorts of information, including bankruptcy attorney fees. So, based on our findings from 2024, we discovered that the range for Chapter 7 in attorney in Massachusetts can range anywhere from $1,150 to $2,500. Now, keep in mind that this is just an estimate, so if you want a more accurate figure based on your location, we've got you covered. Check out our free Massachusetts bankruptcy cost calculator below, which takes into account your exact whereabouts in the state.

This article will give you a breakdown of the estimated all-in costs of filing for bankruptcy in Massachusetts. We'll cover two main things:

  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 Massachusetts. It's a common concern, so we decided to create a tool to help you out. All you need to do is enter your zip code below, and we'll give you an estimate of the bankruptcy costs in your city in Massachusetts.

1. Actual Lawyer Costs By District In Massachusetts

We've already shown you a range of bankruptcy attorneys' fees, but there are a few other 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. Nevertheless, given the importance of the site, let's examine the actual costs as stated in the Pacer filing data.

Massachusetts District

Encompassing a considerable area, the District of Massachusetts covers major cities like Boston, Worcester, and Springfield. Operating within the Eastern Time zone, this district spans 14 counties. It features a central courthouse in Boston and additional court facilities throughout the district, overseen by 13 active district judges and 7 magistrate judges. The diverse economic activities and vibrant communities in Massachusetts's District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within Massachusetts's District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $1,300.00 to $2,000.00. 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 Massachusetts

Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in Massachusetts can charge around $4,000 for their services. The exact fee may vary depending on the district. Unlike Chapter 7 attorney fees, Chapter 13 fees tend to be more consistent. They are often determined by "no-look fees," which are considered a fair and reasonable cost for the services provided. However, it's worth noting that some attorneys may charge an hourly rate for any additional work required after filing Chapter 13. So, it's a good idea to inquire about this possibility when consulting with an attorney.

3. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

Bankruptcy filing costs are pretty much the same all over the United States, not just in Massachusetts. So, if you're thinking about filing for bankruptcy, you need to be aware of the other costs that come along with it. 

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. For more info on filing fees in Massachusetts, check out the official bankruptcy forms and instructions.

Massachusetts Filing Fee Waiver Guidelines

If you're thinking about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you're worried about the fees, you might be eligible to have those fees waived if your income falls below 150% of the Massachusetts poverty guidelines. Be sure to check out Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Massachusetts Income Limit.

Mandatory Course Costs

When you're going through the process of filing for bankruptcy, there are a couple of courses you'll need to take in Massachusetts. First, there's a credit counseling course, which helps you understand your financial situation and explore alternatives to bankruptcy. Then, there's a debtor education course, which provides you with the tools and knowledge to manage your finances after bankruptcy. The good news is that you can often complete both of these courses online, making it convenient for you to fit them into your schedule. And the cost? Well, on average, you can expect to pay somewhere between $10 to $50 per course. It's important to note that these courses must be approved, so you'll want to make sure you're selecting from the list of approved Massachusetts credit counseling courses and debtor education courses

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 Massachusetts by district and looking up your nearest bankruptcy court.

Will Inflation Affect the Cost To File Bankruptcy in Massachusetts?

Let's dive into whether inflation could have an impact on filing fees and attorney costs in Massachusetts. First things first, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee recently got a little update. It went from $335 to $338. As for the Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fee, it went from $310 to $313. Now, these changes are pretty minor, so I wouldn't expect them to hurt you. But what about attorney fees? Well, here's the deal: inflation might cause some inflation in attorney fee costs. Why? Because bankruptcy attorneys might have to shell out more money to their employees, they might be facing higher costs of living. Especially if they're working in cities like Worcester or Springfield, or anywhere else across Massachusetts. So, while the filing fees might not hit you too hard, keep in mind that attorney fees could be a bit affected by inflation. It's something to keep an eye on if you're considering hiring a bankruptcy attorney.

Would My Bankruptcy Cost Be Higher in Boston Than Springfield?

You're sitting at home in Massachusetts, contemplating whether it's better to hire a local attorney or venture into the big city of Worcester to save some bucks on bankruptcy costs.

Now, Boston, with a population of 699,927, might seem like the place where bankruptcy attorney fees would skyrocket.

See, while the cost of hiring a bankruptcy attorney might be higher in Boston, there's also a boatload of attorneys in the city, which means more competition and potentially lower prices. So, believe it or not, you might end up paying more money to file for bankruptcy in your town than in the streets of Boston.

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? 

When it comes to Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in Springfield, things are a bit different. They often charge the same amount, thanks to something called a "no-look fee." It's a standard fee for the services provided. However, when it comes to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the attorney fee can vary significantly. That's why it's crucial to understand what you're getting for the extra cost.

So, how do bankruptcy lawyers determine their fees? Well, several factors come into play:

  1. The type of bankruptcy you're filing, whether it's Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
  2. The complexity of your case, such as whether you have assets or not.
  3. Your location, like if you're in Boston or Worcester.
  4. The level of connection you have with the attorney.
  5. The attorney's expertise and experience in handling bankruptcy cases.

Let me give you an example to make things clearer. Imagine you're making $10,000 above the median income for Massachusetts, and you still want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In this case, the attorney may need to spend extra time reviewing your expenses to determine if you qualify for Chapter 7, despite being above the median income. As you can guess, additional attorney time usually means a higher overall bankruptcy cost.

If you're curious to learn more about bankruptcy lawyer fees, I recommend checking out this informative article: Understanding Bankruptcy Lawyer Fees. It will give you a deeper understanding of the topic and help you make an informed decision.


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 Massachusetts, check out the free Massachusetts bankruptcy cost calculator below.

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