Cost to File Bankruptcy in New Jersey (2024)

Bankruptcy can feel like an overwhelming journey, but understanding the cost to file and the estimated bankruptcy attorney fees in New Jersey is the first step.
Information in this article does constitute legal advice, is for informational purposes only and may not constitute the most up-to-date information. Readers should contact their attorney for advice to any particular legal matter.

The price tag for filing bankruptcy in the great state of New Jersey is no small change. According to the district of New Jersey Bankruptcy Court website, in 2024, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will set you back $338, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy comes in at $313. But hold your horses, because things get a bit more complicated when you throw in a bankruptcy attorney and the possibility of getting those filing fees waived.

Now, we went the extra mile to give you the inside scoop on how much these attorneys might charge in the Garden State. We coughed up around $1,000 to dig into the public records database known as PACER. And what we found was this: if you're filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you could be looking at spending anywhere from $1,000 to $2,800 for an attorney. But remember, this is just an estimate, so if you want a more precise figure based on your exact location in New Jersey, we've got a nifty little bankruptcy cost calculator just for you.

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking how could you afford bankruptcy when you’re already struggling to pay bills. And let me tell you, starting in 2024, with interest rates and inflation still on the rise, it's no walk in the park. Sure, some bankruptcy costs, like the filing fee and the credit counseling courses, are pretty much the same across the board. But when it comes to attorney fees, well, that's a whole different ballgame. The price you pay could vary wildly depending on whether you're in Newark or Jersey City. 

So, the purpose of this article is to give you the lowdown on the estimated all-in costs of bankruptcy in the great state of New Jersey. We're talking about two main things here: bankruptcy attorney fees and 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 New Jersey, so we decided to do something about it. We've gone ahead and created a database of attorney fees just for you! How cool is that?

To find out how much bankruptcy might cost you in your city in New Jersey, all you gotta do is enter your zip code below. We've set up this little tool that will estimate the cost for you. It's super easy!

Just click on the link below, and you'll be taken to our special page where you can enter your zip code. You'll get an estimate of the bankruptcy cost tailored specifically to your city in New Jersey.

1. Actual Lawyer Costs By District In New Jersey

Although we have provided a range of bankruptcy attorneys' fees above, the exact price will depend on a few more 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, since the location is so important, let's examine the actual costs as indicated by the Pacer filing data.

New Jersey District

Encompassing a considerable region, New Jersey covers areas like Camden, Trenton, and Atlantic City. Operating within the eastern time zone, this district spans 21 counties and features 21 courthouses with 460 judges presiding over them.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within New Jersey, the anticipated bankruptcy filing cost typically ranges from $706.00 to $2,250.00. It's essential to keep in mind that this is an estimate, and actual expenses may vary based on factors such as your financial situation and the choice of legal representation.

2. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Fees New Jersey

Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in New Jersey can charge around $4,500. However, the actual 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 cost for the services provided. It's worth noting that some attorneys may charge an additional hourly rate for any extra work required after filing Chapter 13. So, it's a good idea to inquire about this possibility when choosing an attorney.

3. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

If you're thinking about taking that bankruptcy route, there are some other costs you gotta keep in mind. Let's break it down for ya.

Bankruptcy Filing Fees

The US Courthouse has this thing called a fee schedule, and they also have a bankruptcy form that tells you how much you need to pay. It’s good to know what you're getting into.

If you're going for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you're looking at a filing fee of $338. Now, that might sound like a lot, but it's actually made up of a few different fees. You got your $245 filing fee, a $78 administrative fee, and a $15 trustee surcharge.

Now, if you're leaning more towards Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the filing fee is a little lower at $313. This time, the fee is made up of a $235 filing fee and a $78 administrative fee.

If you can't afford the filing fee, don't worry just yet. There might be some options for you. You could pay the fee in installments, like breaking it down into bite-sized pieces. Or, get this, you might even be able to have the fee waived altogether. For more info on that, check out the New Jersey filing fee details and the other information below.

New Jersey Filing Fee Waiver Guidelines

You might be able to have your filing fees waived if your income falls below 150% of the New Jersey poverty guidelines. Let me break it down for you.

For example, let's take a look at the poverty guidelines for cases filed within New Jersey in 2022. The table below shows the number of people in your household and the corresponding income limit at 150% of the poverty guideline.

Number of People | 150% Poverty Guideline

---------------- | ----------------------

1                | $13,590

2                | $18,310

3                | $23,030

4                | $27,750

5                | $32,470

6                | $37,190

7                | $41,910

8                | $46,630

9                | $51,350

*Add $4,720 for each individual in excess of 9.

So, if your income is below the amount listed for your household size, you could be eligible for a waiver of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fees. It's definitely worth checking out if you're in a tough financial situation.

Remember, these guidelines are specific to New Jersey, so make sure to check the guidelines for your state if you're located elsewhere.

Mandatory Course Costs

So, when you find yourself in a situation where you need to file for bankruptcy in New Jersey, there are a couple of things you need to do. First off, you're required to take a credit counseling course that's been approved by the powers that be. And don't worry, you can usually take this course online, which makes it super convenient. Now, these courses typically range in cost from around $10 to $50 per course. 

In addition to the credit counseling course, you also need to take a debtor education course. This one's important too, so make sure you don't skip it. Just like the credit counseling course, you can usually take this one online as well. And guess what? It'll cost you about the same, give or take.

Now, here's the thing. You can't just take any old course. You will need to look at the list of approved credit counseling and approved debtor education courses in New Jersey. Luckily, these courses might have some additional info about their cost, so keep an eye out for that.

Miscellaneous Costs

So, if you're going through bankruptcy and have to attend a meeting of creditors at the courthouse, there might be some expenses involved. One thing you might have to pay for is transportation to get to the courthouse. It could be a bus ticket, gas money, or even parking fees if you're driving. 

Another thing to consider is the cost of a credit report. Your attorney might need one to help you with your case, and for the there’s charges that come with it. However, don't worry too much because your attorney might be able to assist you in obtaining the credit report, so you won't have to do it all on your own.

Now, let's talk about estimating the cost of transportation to the bankruptcy court. It really depends on where you're located and how far you have to travel. Different bankruptcy courts are spread out across the country, so the expenses can vary. It's a good idea to check out the specific bankruptcy court you'll be attending and look into the transportation options available in that area. This way, you can get an idea of how much it might cost you to get there.

Remember, going through bankruptcy can be a challenging time, but understanding the potential costs involved can help you plan ahead and navigate the process more smoothly.

We’ve made it easier for you to figure that out by hovering over to your district using this interactive map and looking up your nearest bankruptcy court.

Will Inflation Affect the Cost To File Bankruptcy in New Jersey?

So, here's the deal: inflation is expected to calm down in 2024. But what does that mean for attorney fees? Will they stay put or rise along with inflation? Let's dive into the nitty-gritty and see how inflation might affect the filing fee and attorney costs in the great state of New Jersey.

First things first, let's talk about the filing fee. As of December 1st, 2020, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee went up from $335 to $338, and the Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fee increased from $310 to $313. Now, hold on a second, before you start panicking, let me reassure you that these changes are so tiny, they're practically microscopic. So, it's highly unlikely that these filing fee adjustments will have a major impact on your wallet.

Now, let's shift our focus to attorney fees. Brace yourself, because this is where things might get a little trickier. See, inflation can cause some ripple effects in the world of bankruptcy attorneys. With the rising cost of living and increased expenses for employees, those attorneys might have to charge a bit more for their services. Especially in bustling cities like Jersey City or Paterson, where the cost of everything seems to be shooting through the roof.

So, to sum it all up, while the filing fee shouldn't be a cause for concern, you might notice a slight inflation-induced increase in attorney fees. It's just the way things go when inflation comes knocking on the door. But hey, at least now you're in the know!

Would My Bankruptcy Cost Be Higher Newark Than Paterson?

You know, living in a suburb in New Jersey can make you wonder whether you should hire a local attorney or go for one in a bigger city like Jersey City. It's all about saving when it comes to bankruptcy costs, am I right?

Now, here's the deal: Newark, with its population of 282,090, takes the crown for the highest population in New Jersey. So naturally, you might think that the cost of bankruptcy attorney fees would be sky-high in Newark compared to a place like Paterson.

While the cost might be higher in Newark, there's something else you need to know. Brace yourself for this: there might actually be more bankruptcy attorneys in Newark, which means more competition and potentially lower prices. Who would've thought, right? So, it's possible that the total cost of filing for bankruptcy, including all those fancy bankruptcy fees, could end up being way higher in your own city than in Newark.

I've got some good news for you. Most bankruptcy attorneys offer free consultations. So, you can gather multiple perspectives and make an informed decision. And guess what? We've even got a bankruptcy cost calculator down below that takes all these variables into account and gives you an estimate of the all-in cost. 

Why Do Some Attorneys Charge Higher Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Fees? 

Now, one thing you might be wondering is how much it's going to cost you to hire a bankruptcy attorney. Well, I've got some news for you – the costs can vary quite a bit.

Let's start with Jersey City. You've got two different bankruptcy attorneys to choose from, and their prices might not be the same. It's like comparing apples to oranges, you know? Each attorney has their own way of doing things and their own fee structure, so it's worth shopping around to find the one that fits your budget.

Now, let's hop over to Paterson. Here's the deal – Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in Paterson usually charge a fixed fee called a "no-look fee." It's like a standard price for the services they provide. So, no matter which attorney you choose, you'll be paying about the same amount. Simple, right?

Things get a little trickier when it comes to Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The attorney fees for Chapter 7 can vary quite a bit. It's like a rollercoaster ride of costs, and you need to be prepared.

So, what factors influence the cost of a bankruptcy lawyer? Let me break it down for you:

  1. The type of bankruptcy you're filing – Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Each one has its own complexities and requirements, so the fees can differ.
  2. The complexity of your case – do you have any assets? Are there any complications that the attorney needs to navigate? The more complex your case, the higher the cost.
  3. Your location – where you live can also impact the price. For example, filing in Newark might be pricier than filing in Jersey City.
  4. The level of connection with your attorney – some attorneys have better connections and relationships with the courts, which can affect the cost.
  5. The attorney's expertise – how many years of experience does the attorney have? More experience often means a higher fee.

Let me give you an example to make things clearer. Imagine you're making $10,000 above the median income for New Jersey, and you want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Well, in this case, the attorney might need to spend extra time analyzing your expenses to see if you qualify for Chapter 7 despite your higher income. And you guessed it – extra time means extra money.

If you want to dive deeper into the world of bankruptcy lawyer fees, I've got just the thing for you. Check out this article: "Understanding Bankruptcy Lawyer Fees." It's like a treasure trove of information that will help you navigate this complex terrain.

Conclusion

So, you're thinking about filing for bankruptcy in the great state of New Jersey, huh? Well, let me break it down for you. The cost of filing bankruptcy here depends on a couple of things: where you live and the type of bankruptcy you're going for. It's like a puzzle with different pieces that come together to determine the final cost.

Now, the biggest factor that affects the total cost is the attorney fee. Those legal eagles don't come cheap, my friend. For a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you're looking at shelling out anywhere between $1000 and $2800. But if you're going for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, get ready to fork over around $4,500.

 I hope I've given you some valuable insight into the all-in costs of filing bankruptcy with a lawyer in New Jersey. If you still have questions swirling around in that noggin of yours, don't hesitate to reach out. And hey, if you want to get a rough estimate of what you might be facing, check out the free New Jersey bankruptcy cost calculator below. 

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