Cost to File Bankruptcy in North Carolina (2024)

Bankruptcy can feel like an overwhelming journey, but understanding the cost to file and the estimated bankruptcy attorney fees in North Carolina 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 North Carolina, you might be wondering how much it will cost you. The cost depends on whether you're filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, whether you hire a bankruptcy attorney, and if you qualify for fee waivers. Let me break it down for you.

First, let's talk about the filing fees. In 2024, it will cost you $338 for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and $313 for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, if you're considering hiring a bankruptcy attorney or hoping to get the filing fees waived, things get a little more nuanced.

Second, let's talk about attorney fees. To get an accurate estimate, we dug deep into the public records database called PACER. We spent around $1,000 to find out that, as of 2024, Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney fees in North Carolina can range from $900 to $1550. Keep in mind that this is just an estimate. If you want a more precise figure based on your exact location in North Carolina, we've got you covered. Check out our free North Carolina bankruptcy cost calculator below.

Now, let's address the elephant in the room: the overall cost of bankruptcy. Trust me, I get it. It's tough to pay bills, especially with interest rates and inflation still causing trouble in 2024. But here's the deal: many bankruptcy costs, like the filing fee and credit counseling courses, are pretty similar across the board. However, the real game-changer is the cost of attorney fees, which can vary dramatically depending on whether you're in Charlotte or Raleigh.

So, the purpose of this article is to give you a ballpark figure of the all-in costs you'll face when filing for bankruptcy in North Carolina. We'll cover two main categories: bankruptcy attorney fees and 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 North Carolina, so we decided to do some digging and create a database of attorney fees just for you. Now, you can find out how much bankruptcy might set you back in your very own city in the state of North Carolina. To get an estimate tailored specifically to your location, all you need to do is enter your zip code below. Just remember, this is just an estimate, and actual costs may vary. But hey, it's a good starting point to help you plan your financial future. 

1. Actual Lawyer Costs By District In North Carolina

You've already seen a range of bankruptcy attorneys' costs, but there are a few more 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. But since the location is so important, let's examine the actual costs as shown by the data from Pacer files and the map of North Carolina bankruptcy districts.

See the map below to determine which district you reside in, then scroll down to see actual legal fees.

Map of Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts in North Carolina

North Carolina Eastern District

Covering a substantial area, the Eastern District of North Carolina includes major cities like Raleigh, Wilmington, and Greenville. Operating within the Eastern Time zone, this district spans 44 counties. It features a central courthouse in Raleigh and additional court facilities throughout the district, overseen by 6 active district judges and 3 magistrate judges. The diverse economic activities and vibrant communities in North Carolina's Eastern District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within North Carolina's Eastern District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $602.00 to $1,925.00. 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.

North Carolina Middle District

Encompassing a significant region, the Middle District of North Carolina includes major cities like Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Durham. Operating within the Eastern Time zone, this district spans 24 counties. It features a central courthouse in Greensboro and additional court facilities throughout the district, overseen by 5 active district judges and 3 magistrate judges. The diverse economic activities and vibrant communities in North Carolina's Middle District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within North Carolina's Middle District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $1,400.00 to $1,995.00. 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.

North Carolina Western District

Covering a substantial area, the Western District of North Carolina includes major cities like Charlotte, Asheville, and Hickory. Operating within the Eastern Time zone, this district spans 32 counties. It features a central courthouse in Charlotte and additional court facilities throughout the district, overseen by 6 active district judges and 3 magistrate judges. The diverse economic activities and vibrant communities in North Carolina's Western District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within North Carolina's Western District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $1,463.00 to $1,695.00. 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 North Carolina

Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in North Carolina can charge around $3,700 for their services. However, the actual fee may vary depending on the district. Unlike Chapter 7 attorney fees, Chapter 13 fees tend to be more consistent due to something called "no-look fees." These fees are considered reasonable for the services provided. It's worth noting that some attorneys may charge an hourly rate for any additional work required after filing for Chapter 13. So, it's always a good idea to inquire about any potential extra costs.

3. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

Bankruptcy filing costs are not just a North Carolina thing, they're pretty similar all across the United States. So, if you're considering filing for bankruptcy, keep these other costs in mind too. Trust me, they can add up quickly.

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.

North Carolina Filing Fee Waiver Guidelines

If you're considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you might be eligible to have your filing fees waived. You have to be below 150% of the North Carolina poverty guidelines. Be sure to check out Chapter 7 Bankruptcy North Carolina Income limit

Let's take a look at the poverty guidelines for North Carolina in 2022. These guidelines vary depending on the number of people in your household. For instance, if you're one person in the household, the poverty guideline for you is $13,590. For two, the guideline goes up to $18,310. Here's a breakdown of the poverty guidelines for different household sizes:  

  • 1 person: $13,590  
  • 2 people: $18,310 
  • 3 people: $23,030 
  • 4 people: $27,750 
  • 5 people: $32,470 
  • 6 people: $37,190 
  • 7 people: $41,910 
  • 8 people: $46,630 
  • 9 people: $51,350 

If you have more than 9 individuals in your household, you can add an extra $4,720 for each additional person. 

Keep in mind that these guidelines are based on the poverty level set by North Carolina. If you fall below this threshold, you might just be able to not pay those bankruptcy filing fees. Just remember, this information is specifically for cases filed within North Carolina in 2022. So if you're in a different state, you'll need to check out their guidelines.

Mandatory Course Costs

There are a couple of courses you'll need to take. Don't worry, though, you can usually take them online from the comfort of your own home. First up, there's the credit counseling course. This course is designed to give you some guidance on managing your finances and understanding the implications of bankruptcy. It's important to note that the course has to be approved, so you'll want to make sure you're taking one from the list of approved North Carolina credit counseling courses. The average cost for this course is usually around $10 to $50. Once you've completed the credit counseling course, it's time for the debtor education course. This course is all about helping you develop the skills and knowledge you need to make better financial decisions in the future. Again, you'll need to take an approved course, so check out the list of approved North Carolina debtor education courses. Just like the credit counseling course, the average cost for this one is around $10 to $50.

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 actually 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 North Carolina by district and looking up your nearest bankruptcy court.

Will Inflation Affect the Cost To File Bankruptcy in North Carolina?

There's been some talk about inflation and how it might affect attorney fees. Will they stay put or rise like a phoenix? First things first, the filing fees for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases got a minor update. The Chapter 7 fee went from $335 to $338, and the Chapter 13 fee went from $310 to $313. Yeah, not a massive change. So, don't sweat it too much. These small adjustments shouldn't put a dent in your wallet. Now, let's talk attorney fees. When inflation hits, bankruptcy attorneys may have to shell out more money to their employees. Plus, they gotta deal with the rising cost of living, especially in fancy cities like Raleigh, and Greensboro, and all across the state of North Carolina. Keep in mind that attorney fees might experience a bit of a bump.

Would My Bankruptcy Cost Be Higher Charlotte Than Greensboro?

You know, if you're living in a suburb in North Carolina, you might be wondering whether it's better to hire a local attorney or head to a big city, like Raleigh, to save some money on bankruptcy costs.

Now, here's the thing: Charlotte, with its population of 882,367, is the largest city in North Carolina. So naturally, you might assume that the cost of hiring a bankruptcy attorney would be higher in Charlotte compared to a smaller city like Greensboro.

While the cost might be a tad higher in Charlotte, there's also a silver lining. You see, with more bankruptcy attorneys in town, there's fierce competition, and that can drive prices down.

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 total cost.

Why Do Some Attorneys Charge Higher Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Fees? 

If you're looking for bankruptcy attorneys in Raleigh, comparing their prices can be quite a challenge. You might be surprised to find that attorney costs can vary quite a bit between different lawyers.

Now, regarding Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in Greensboro, things are a bit more straightforward. These attorneys usually charge the same amount, thanks to something called the "no-look fee." It's a standard fee for the services they provide. When it comes to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it's a whole different ball game. The fees for Chapter 7 attorneys can vary greatly, so it's important to understand what you're getting for the extra money.

Now, let's break it down. The cost of a bankruptcy lawyer often depends on a few key factors:

  1. The type of bankruptcy you're filing, whether it's Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
  2. The complexity of your case, like whether you have assets or not.
  3. Your location, because hey, different cities, different prices.
  4. The level of connection you have with your attorney. Are they your best buddy or just someone you found online?
  5. The attorney's expertise. How many years of experience do they have under their belt?

Let's say you're making a cool $10,000 above the median income for North Carolina, and you still want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Well, in that case, the attorney might have to spend some extra time going over your expenses to see if you qualify. Even though you're above the median, they'll have to dig deep and make sure you're eligible. More attorney time equals a higher overall bankruptcy cost.

If you're curious to learn more about bankruptcy lawyer fees and how they work, check out this article: "Understanding Bankruptcy Lawyer Fees." It'll give you a deeper understanding of what to expect 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 North Carolina, check out the free North Carolina bankruptcy cost calculator below.

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