Cost to File Bankruptcy in South Carolina (2024)

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

The cost of filing for bankruptcy in South Carolina can be a bit tricky to pin down. In 2024, the filing fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $338, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will set you back $313. If you decide to hire a bankruptcy attorney or if you're hoping to get the filing fees waived, things get a little more complicated.

We did some digging and managed to get a pretty accurate estimate of how much bankruptcy attorneys in South Carolina charge. We spent around $1,000 on PACER, a public records database that has information on bankruptcy attorney fees. As of 2024, we found that the cost range for a Chapter 7 attorney can be anywhere between $1,000 and $2,800. Now, keep in mind that this is just an estimate. If you want a more precise figure based on your specific location in South Carolina, we've got a free bankruptcy cost calculator below that can help you out.

Now, I don't know about you, but I often wonder how on earth I'm supposed to afford the cost of bankruptcy when I'm already struggling to pay my bills. And let's not forget that interest rates and inflation are still causing headaches in 2024. The good news is that many bankruptcy costs, like the filing fee and credit counseling courses, tend to be quite similar across the board. However, the real wild card is the cost of attorney fees, which can vary dramatically depending on whether you're in Charleston or Columbia.

So, let's break it down for you. This article aims to give you an idea of the all-in costs involved in filing for bankruptcy:

  1. Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
  2. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

Estimate the All-In Bankruptcy Cost in Your Zip Code

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

1. Actual Lawyer Costs By District In South Carolina

Even though we've already displayed a variety of bankruptcy attorneys' fees, the total cost will depend on a few other 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, given how important the location is, let's examine the actual costs as stated in the Pacer filing data.

South Carolina District

Encompassing a substantial expanse, the District of South Carolina covers major urban centers such as Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville. Operating within the Eastern Time zone, this district spans 46 counties. It features a central courthouse in Charleston 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 South Carolina's District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within South Carolina's District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $1,262.00 to $1,838.00. 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 South Carolina

Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in South Carolina can charge around $3,700. However, the actual fee may vary depending on the district. Unlike Chapter 7 attorney fees, Chapter 13 fees tend to be quite similar. This is because they are based on "no-look fees," which are considered a fair and reasonable cost 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 a good idea to inquire about this before making a decision.

3. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

Bankruptcy filing costs in the United States are pretty much the same, no matter which state you're in. So, it's not just South Carolina that has these costs. There are other costs you need to consider when filing for bankruptcy. Let me break it 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. 

South Carolina Filing Fee Waiver Guidelines

If you're considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you're worried about the fees, you might be eligible to have those fees waived if you fall below 150% of the poverty guidelines in South Carolina. Be sure to check out Chapter 7 Bankruptcy South Carolina Income Limit.

Mandatory Course Costs

When you're in a tough financial spot and decide to file for bankruptcy, there are a couple of things you need to do before you can get back on your feet. One of those things is taking a credit counseling course, which is required by law in South Carolina. Don't worry, though, you can usually take this course online from the comfort of your own home. Now, let's talk about the cost. On average, these courses will set you back around $10 to $50 each. It's important to note that the courses must be approved, so you'll want to make sure you're signing up for one that meets the requirements. Be sure to take a look at the approved South Carolina credit counseling courses and approved South Carolina 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 South Carolina by division and looking up your nearest bankruptcy court.

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

As of December 1st, 2020, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee went up from $335 to $338, while the Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fee increased from $310 to $313. Now, I know what you're thinking - those are pretty small changes. And you're right! Based on these tiny adjustments, I wouldn't expect the filing fee to hit you too hard.

However, when it comes to attorney fees, things might be a bit different. You see, inflation could lead to bankruptcy attorneys having to pay their employees more and dealing with higher costs of living themselves. This could especially be the case in cities like Columbia or North Charleston, or even across South Carolina as a whole. So, there might be some inflation-related increases in attorney fees.

Would My Bankruptcy Cost Be Higher Charleston Than North Charleston?

If you're living in a suburb in South Carolina and you're thinking about filing for bankruptcy, you might be wondering whether it's better to hire a local attorney or head to a bigger city like Columbia to save some money.

Charleston, with its population of 136,208, happens to be the most populous city in South Carolina. So, naturally, you might assume that the cost of hiring a bankruptcy attorney there would be higher compared to a place like North Charleston.

While it's true that the cost might be higher in Charleston, you need to consider the flip side. More attorneys mean more competition, and competition tends to bring prices down. So, it's possible that the total cost of filing for bankruptcy, including attorney fees, could be much higher in your city than in Charleston. 

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? 

Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in North Charleston usually charge the same amount. It's called a "no-look fee," a standard fee for their services. The attorney fees can be all over the place. So, it's crucial to understand what you're paying for.

Let me break it down for you. The cost of a bankruptcy lawyer often depends on a few things:

  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 (Charleston or Columbia, for example)
  4. The level of connection you have with the attorney
  5. The attorney's expertise (how many years of experience they have)

Here's an example to illustrate things better. Imagine you're making $10,000 more than the median income in South Carolina, and you want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Well, in that case, the attorney might have to dig deeper into your expenses to see if you still qualify. And guess what? More time spent by the attorney means a higher overall cost for you.

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.


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 South Carolina, check out the free South Carolina bankruptcy cost calculator below.

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