Cost to File Bankruptcy in Missouri (2024)

Bankruptcy can feel like an overwhelming journey, but understanding the cost to file and the estimated bankruptcy attorney fees in Missouri 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 considering filing for bankruptcy in Missouri. It's a tough decision, no doubt. But before you dive in, let's talk about the costs involved.

First things first, there's the filing fee. In 2024, if you're going for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you're looking at around $338. If you opt for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it's slightly lower at $313.

Now, if you decide to hire a bankruptcy attorney, which is highly recommended, you'll need to budget for their fees too. We did some digging and spent about $1,000 on PACER, a public records database, to get an idea of attorney fees in Missouri. And here's what we found for Chapter 7 cases in 2024: the range can be anywhere from $1,075 to $1,400.

Remember, these figures are just estimates. If you want a more precise estimate based on your location in Missouri, we've got you covered. Check out our free Missouri bankruptcy cost calculator below. It takes into account your exact location and gives you a personalized estimate.

You’re probably wondering how are you supposed to afford all this when you're already struggling to pay your bills.

Here's the deal, while some bankruptcy costs, like the filing fee and credit counseling courses, tend to be similar across the board, attorney fees can vary wildly depending on where you are in Missouri. Whether you're in Kansas City or Saint Louis, the difference could be substantial.

We're here to give you a rough idea of the all-in costs involved in filing for bankruptcy. We'll cover two main areas: bankruptcy attorney fees and bankruptcy filing costs. Consider this your guide through bankruptcy expenses.

Estimate the All-In Bankruptcy Cost in Your Zip Code

We've been getting tons of questions about the cost of bankruptcy in Missouri, so we decided to do something about it. We've gone ahead and created a database of attorney fees just for you. To find out how much bankruptcy might cost you in your city in Missouri, all you need to do is enter your zip code below. 

1. Actual Lawyer Costs By District In Missouri

Even though we've shown a range of bankruptcy attorneys' fees above, the precise sum will change based on a few distinct factors. The ultimate cost is influenced by several factors, such as the location of the bankruptcy lawyer, the intricacy of the case, the attorney-client relationship, and the professional's expertise. But since location is so important, let's take a closer look at Missouri’s bankruptcy district map and the real costs as seen in the Pacer filing data.

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 Missouri

Missouri Eastern District

Covering a substantial expanse, the Eastern District of Missouri encompasses major urban centers such as St. Louis, Cape Girardeau, and Hannibal. Operating within the Central Time zone, this district spans 49 counties. It features a central courthouse in St. Louis and additional court facilities throughout the district, overseen by 8 active district judges and 5 magistrate judges. The diverse economic activities and lively communities in Missouri's Eastern District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within Missouri's Eastern District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $500.00 to $1,162.00. 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.

Missouri Western District

Encompassing a considerable region, the Western District of Missouri includes major cities like Kansas City, Springfield, and Joplin. Operating within the Central Time zone, this district spans 66 counties. It features a central courthouse in Kansas City and additional court facilities across the district, overseen by 6 active district judges and 4 magistrate judges. The varied economic activities and vibrant communities in Missouri's Western District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within Missouri's Western District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $1,500.00 to $1,587.00. 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 Missouri

Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in Missouri can charge around $3,600 for their services. The exact fee may vary depending on the district you're in. Now, when it comes to Chapter 7 attorney fees, there's more variability. However, Chapter 13 fees tend to be quite similar due to something called "no-look fees." These fees are considered reasonable for the service provided. But here's something to keep in mind: it's worth checking if the attorney charges an hourly rate for any extra work that might be needed after filing for Chapter 13. So, it's always a good idea to have a clear understanding of the attorney's fee structure.

3. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

Bankruptcy filing costs are pretty much the same all over the United States, not just in Missouri. So, if you're thinking about filing for bankruptcy, there are a few other costs you need to keep in mind. Let's break them 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.

Missouri Filing Fee Waiver Guidelines

If you're considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Missouri. You might be able to have your filing fees waived if your income falls below 150% of the Missouri poverty guidelines. Be sure to check out Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Missouri Income Limit.

Mandatory Course Costs

When you're facing bankruptcy in Missouri, there's a couple of courses you gotta take. First up is an approved credit counseling course. Then, you'll need to dive into a debtor education course. Don't worry, you can usually take these courses online. You're looking at spending around $10 to $50 per course. Don't forget that these courses need to be approved. Be sure to check out the approved Missouri credit counseling courses and Missouri 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 Missouri by district and looking up your nearest bankruptcy court.

Will Inflation Affect the Cost To File Bankruptcy in Missouri?

As of December 1st, 2020, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee was bumped up from $335 to $338. Similarly, the Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fee went from $310 to $313. Now, these changes are pretty minor, so I wouldn't expect them to put a dent in your wallet. But what about attorney fees? Well, here's where things get a little more interesting. You see, as inflation goes up, bankruptcy attorneys might find themselves shelling out more money to their employees and dealing with higher living costs in cities like Saint Louis or Springfield, as well as across Missouri. So, while the filing fee might not have a big impact on you, there's a chance you could see some inflation-driven increases in attorney fees.

Would My Bankruptcy Cost Be Higher in Kansas City Than Springfield?

You might be sitting at home in Missouri, pondering whether it's better to hire a local attorney or venture into a big city like Saint Louis to save some bucks on bankruptcy costs.

Kansas City, with its population of 507,928, takes the crown for being the most populous city in Missouri. Naturally, you'd think that the cost of hiring a bankruptcy attorney would be higher there compared to a smaller city like Springfield.

While the cost may indeed be higher in Kansas City, the presence of more bankruptcy attorneys in the area leads to some fierce competition. You might find yourself scratching your head, realizing that the total cost of filing bankruptcy, including those attorney fees, could be much higher in your city than in bustling Kansas City.

Most bankruptcy attorneys offer something called a "free bankruptcy consultation." That means you can gather multiple perspectives without spending a dime. And if you're still not satisfied, we've got you covered with our bankruptcy cost calculator below. It takes into account all those variables we just talked about, giving you a solid estimate of the all-in cost.

Why Do Some Attorneys Charge Higher Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Fees? 

So, you're in a tough spot and considering filing for bankruptcy. It's a big decision, and you want to make sure you choose the right attorney. But here's the thing - the cost of bankruptcy attorneys can vary quite a bit, even in the same city. Let's take a closer look.

When it comes to Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the attorneys usually charge a fixed fee, known as the "no-look fee." This fee is pretty standard across the board, so you won't see much variation in costs for Chapter 13 attorneys in Springfield. However, when it comes to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, things can get a bit trickier.

The fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can vary greatly. So, it's important to understand what you're getting for the additional cost. There are a few factors that can influence the cost of a bankruptcy lawyer:

  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 - different cities may have different fee structures.
  4. The level of connection you have with the attorney.
  5. The attorney's expertise and experience.

Let's say you're making $10,000 above the median income for Missouri and you 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 your income. As you can imagine, additional attorney time means a higher overall cost for your bankruptcy case.

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

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