Cost to File Bankruptcy in Montana (2024)

Bankruptcy can feel like an overwhelming journey, but understanding the cost to file and the estimated bankruptcy attorney fees in Montana 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 bankruptcy in Montana may seem straightforward at first glance, but it's a bit more complicated. In 2024, the filing fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $338, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy costs $313. However, there are additional factors to consider, such as whether you choose to hire a bankruptcy attorney and if you qualify for fee waivers.

We did some digging and managed to get a ballpark estimate for attorney fees in Montana by using a public records database called PACER. It cost us around $1,000, but it was worth it. According to our findings, as of 2024, the range for Chapter 7 attorney fees in Montana is between $1,075 and $1,500. Keep in mind that this is just an estimate, so if you want a more precise figure based on your location in Montana, we've got you covered with a free bankruptcy cost calculator down below.

If you're anything like me, you're probably wondering how you can afford bankruptcy in Montana, especially when it's already tough to pay the bills, with interest rates and inflation still causing headaches in 2024. Sure, some bankruptcy costs like filing fees and credit counseling courses are pretty similar across the board. But when it comes to attorney fees, they can vary wildly depending on whether you're in Billings or Missoula.

So, the purpose of this article is to give you a rough idea of the total costs involved in filing for bankruptcy. We'll be focusing on two main categories:

  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 Montana. So, we went ahead and created a database of attorney fees just for you. Now, you can easily estimate how much bankruptcy might set you back in your city in Montana. To get an estimate tailored to your specific location, all you need to do is enter your zip code below. 

1. Actual Lawyer Costs By District In Montana

A variety of bankruptcy fees have already been covered in our postings for different situations. When bankruptcy is taken into account, there are a few more elements that will affect the overall. A few examples are the bankruptcy lawyer's location, the complexity of the case, and the lawyer's level of experience. Prospective costs are significantly influenced by geographic location as well. We produced the essay that follows to guide you through the procedure and explain the expenses in your area. Let's take a closer look at the actual costs that were disclosed in the filing data that Pacer supplied. 

Montana District

Encompassing a significant expanse, the District of Montana includes major urban centers like Billings, Missoula, and Great Falls. Operating within the Mountain Time zone, this district spans 56 counties. It features a central courthouse in Billings and additional court facilities throughout the district, overseen by 2 active district judges and 1 magistrate judge. The varied economic activities and vibrant communities in Montana's District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within Montana's District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $1,500.00 to $2,125.00. 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 Montana

Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in Montana can hit you with a bill of around $3,000, this fee can vary depending on the district. When it comes to Chapter 7 attorney fees, they can be all over the place. However, Chapter 13 fees tend to be more consistent. They follow what's called "no-look fees," which are a fair and reasonable cost for the services provided. But don't jump to conclusions just yet. You might still want to check if the attorney charges an hourly rate for any extra work after filing Chapter 13. 

3. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

Bankruptcy filing costs are pretty much the same all over the United States, not just in Montana. But wait, there's more! There are some other costs you should keep in mind too. Let's dive in and find out what they are.

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. And in other cases, you might even be able to get the fee waived altogether.

Montana Filing Fee Waiver Guidelines

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

Mandatory Course Costs

When you're in a tough financial spot and decide to file for bankruptcy, there are a couple of courses you need to take in Montana. You can usually complete these courses online, which is super convenient. But before you jump in, there's something you should know - these courses have to be approved. Be sure to look at the list of approved credit counseling courses and debtor education courses in Montana. The courses usually cost between $10 and $50 each. So, you can plan your budget accordingly.

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 Montana by division and looking up your nearest bankruptcy court.

Will Inflation Affect the Cost To File Bankruptcy in Montana?

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee was updated from $335 to $338, while the Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fee went from $310 to $313. Now, these changes are pretty minimal, so I wouldn't expect them to hurt you. Now, let's move on to attorney fees. Here's the deal: inflation might affect these costs. See, as inflation kicks in, bankruptcy attorneys might find themselves having to pay more to their employees. And on top of that, they might face higher costs of living, especially in cities like Missoula or Great Falls, or even across the whole state of Montana. So, while the filing fees might not be a big concern, you might see some inflation-driven increases in attorney fee costs.

Would My Bankruptcy Cost Be Higher Billings Than Great Falls?

Billings, with a population of 116,827, takes the crown for the most populous city in Montana. You might assume that the cost of hiring a bankruptcy attorney there would be higher compared to a smaller city like Great Falls. 

While it's true that the cost of bankruptcy attorney fees might be higher in Billings, there's a twist. The larger number of bankruptcy attorneys in Billings means there's more competition, leading to a drop in prices. So, believe it or not, you might end up paying more in your city than if you went to Billings.

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, most attorneys in Great Falls charge the same amount. They have something called a "no-look fee," which is a standard fee for the services they provide. So, you don't have to worry too much about the cost when it comes to Chapter 13. It's pretty straightforward.

But, and this is a big but, when it comes to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, things can get a little more complicated. The fees for Chapter 7 attorneys can vary quite a bit. So, it's important to understand what you're getting for the extra cost.

Now, let's break it down. The cost of a bankruptcy lawyer is usually based on a few key 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 - where you're filing for bankruptcy.
  4. The level of connection you have with your attorney.
  5. The attorney's expertise - how many years of experience they have.

For example, let's say you're making $10,000 more than the median income in Montana and you want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Well, in that case, the attorney may have to spend extra time reviewing your expenses to see if you still qualify for Chapter 7, even though you're above the median income. 

If you're curious to learn more about bankruptcy lawyer fees and how they work, I recommend checking out this article: Understanding Bankruptcy Lawyer Fees. It's always good to be informed before making any decisions, especially when it comes to something as important as your financial future.

Conclusion

I hope this article has given you some useful info about the costs of filing bankruptcy with a lawyer. If you still have questions swirling around in your mind, don't hesitate to reach out. And if you want to get a rough estimate of the costs specific to Montana, check out the free Montana bankruptcy cost calculator below.

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