Cost to File Bankruptcy in Washington (2024)

Bankruptcy can feel like an overwhelming journey, but understanding the cost to file and the estimated bankruptcy attorney fees in Washington 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 Washington can be a bit tricky. In 2024, it's $338 for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and $313 for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you decide to hire a bankruptcy attorney or if you're looking to get those filing fees waived. We did some digging and spent around $1,000 on PACER, a public records database that has bankruptcy attorney fees. And guess what? We found that the Chapter 7 attorney fee range in Washington can be anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000. Now, keep in mind, this is just an estimate. If you want a more accurate estimate based on your specific location in Washington, we've got a free bankruptcy cost calculator for you below.

If you're anything like me, you're probably wondering how you can afford bankruptcy in Washington, especially when you're struggling to pay your bills. And let's not forget about interest rates and inflation. The good news is that many bankruptcy costs, like the filing fee and credit counseling courses, are pretty similar across the board. But here's the kicker: the cost of bankruptcy attorney fees can vary wildly depending on whether you're in Seattle or Spokane.

Now, let's break it down for you. This article is all about giving you an idea of the total 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 a ton of questions about bankruptcy costs in Washington, so we decided to do something about it. We've built a database that can estimate attorney fees for you. All you need to do is enter your zip code below! You'll get an estimate of the cost of bankruptcy in your city of Washington. 

An estimate tailored just for you. Just remember, this is just an estimate, so the actual cost may vary depending on your specific situation.

1. Actual Lawyer Costs By District In Washington

Although we've already shown you a range of bankruptcy lawyers' costs, there are still a few more variables that will affect the final cost. The location of the bankruptcy lawyer, the intricacy of the case, the attorney-client dynamic, and the level of expertise of the expert are some of the variables that influence the total cost. But since the location is so crucial, let's look at the true expenses as displayed by the Washington bankruptcy district map and data from Pacer filings.

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 in Washington

Washington Eastern District

Spanning a considerable area, Washington's Eastern District includes major cities like Spokane, Yakima, and Walla Walla. Operating within the Pacific Time zone, this district encompasses 20 counties. It features a central courthouse in Spokane and additional court facilities throughout the district, overseen by 4 active district judges and 3 magistrate judges. The diverse economic activities and vibrant communities in Washington's Eastern District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within Washington's Eastern District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $900.00 to $1,475.00. It's crucial to remember that this is an estimate, and actual expenses may fluctuate based on factors such as your financial situation and the choice of legal representation.

Washington Western District

Encompassing a significant area, Washington's Western District includes major urban centers like Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia. Operating within the Pacific Time zone, this district spans 11 counties. It features a central courthouse in Seattle and additional court facilities throughout the district, overseen by 9 active district judges and 5 magistrate judges. The diverse economic activities and vibrant communities in Washington's Western District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within Washington's Western District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $1,300.00 to $2,800.00. 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 Washington

Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in Washington might charge you around $3,500. Of course, this fee can vary depending on the district you're in. Now, when it comes to Chapter 7 attorney fees, they can be all over the place. But with Chapter 13, things are a bit more consistent. They have something called "no-look fees," which are basically a fair and reasonable cost for the services they provide. However, it's worth checking if the attorney charges an hourly rate for any extra work after you file for Chapter 13. You don't want any surprises.

3. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

Bankruptcy filing costs are pretty much the same all over the United States, not just in Washington. But hold your horses, there are some other costs you need to keep in mind too. 

Bankruptcy Filing Fees

The US Courthouse has got you covered with all the information you need about filing fees for bankruptcy. They've got a handy fee schedule and a bankruptcy form that breaks it all down for you. So, let's dive into the details.

When it comes to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the filing fee amounts to $338. That includes a $245 filing fee, a $78 administrative fee, and a $15 trustee surcharge

Now, if you're considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the filing fee is a bit lower at $313. That includes a $235 filing fee and a $78 administrative fee

What if you're short on cash and can't afford the filing fee? Well, don't worry just yet. There are a couple of options for you. You might be able to pay the fee in installments, spreading it out over time. Or, if you're lucky, the fee could be waived altogether. 

If you want more information about filing fees specific to Washington, you can check out the Washington filing fee information. They've got all the details you need.

So, whether you're ready to file or just curious about the fees, the US Courthouse has got your back. They're here to help you navigate the bankruptcy process with ease.

Washington Filing Fee Waiver Guidelines

If you're considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but you're worried about the fees, I've got some good news for you. The Washington Chapter 7 bankruptcy income limit can determine if you’re eligible to have those fees waived if you fall below 150% of the Washington poverty guidelines. Let me break it down for you. For instance, if you're a single person and your annual income is less than $13,590, you could qualify. If you're a couple, the cut-off is $18,310. And if you have a family of three, the limit is $23,030. The table below shows the poverty guidelines for different household sizes in Washington for 2022:

 | # 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 falls within these limits, you could potentially have your Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fees waived. It's definitely worth looking into if you're struggling financially. Remember, these guidelines are specific to Washington, so make sure to check the guidelines for your state if you're not in Washington.

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. One of them is taking a credit counseling course, which is approved by the authorities in Washington. Don't worry, you can usually complete this course online, making it super convenient for you. Now, here's the thing, this course comes with a price tag. On average, you can expect to pay somewhere between $10 to $50 for it. Keep in mind that you can't just take any course you stumble upon, it has to be approved. I've got the scoop on where you can find a list of approved Washington credit counseling courses. The same applies to the list of approved Washington debtor education.

Miscellaneous Costs

So, you're probably wondering about the costs involved in attending a meeting of creditors at the courthouse. First things first, you might have to cover the expenses for transportation to get to the courthouse. Now, here's the good news. Your attorney might be able to lend a hand when it comes to getting a credit report. They could help you out with that.However, there might still be some costs associated with it, so it's worth looking into. If you're curious about how much transportation might set you back, I've got you covered. You can estimate the cost of getting to one of the bankruptcy courts using the handy list below. It'll give you an idea of what you might be looking at in terms of expenses. 

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 Washington by district and looking up your nearest bankruptcy court.

Will Inflation Affect the Cost To File Bankruptcy in Washington?

Will inflation slow down enough to keep those fees from rising? Let's dive into it and see how it might affect filing fees and attorney costs in Washington. First things first, let's talk about the filing fees. Now, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee recently saw a teeny-tiny increase from $335 to $338. Similarly, the Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fee went up from $310 to $313. These changes are so minuscule that they're unlikely to put a dent in your wallet. So, no need to fret about the filing fees. Now, let's move on to attorney costs. Here's the deal: inflation might have a bit more impact on attorney fees. You see, as inflation rears its head, bankruptcy attorneys might find themselves shelling out more money to their employees. And let's not forget about the higher costs of living in cities like Spokane or Tacoma, or anywhere else across Washington. All these factors could end up nudging attorney fees a tad higher. While filing fees are pretty much a non-issue, you might see a slight uptick in attorney costs due to inflation. Just keep an eye out for any changes, and remember that your friendly neighborhood bankruptcy attorney is there to guide you through the process. 

Would My Bankruptcy Cost Be Higher Seattle Than Tacoma?

You know, living in a suburb in Washington can make you ponder on whether you should hire a local attorney or go for someone in a bigger city like Spokane to save some fees on bankruptcy costs. It's a tough call, I get it.

Now, Seattle, has the highest population in Washington with a whopping 754,567 people. With all those folks, you might expect the cost of bankruptcy attorney fees to be higher in Seattle compared to a place like Tacoma. It's only logical, right?

While the cost may indeed be higher in Seattle, there's also a higher number of bankruptcy attorneys in the city. And when there's competition, prices tend to drop. So, believe it or not, you might actually find that the total cost to file bankruptcy, including those pesky attorney fees, could be much higher in your own city than in Seattle.

Now, here's a little something to keep in mind. Most bankruptcy attorneys offer free bankruptcy consultations. So, you can get multiple perspectives and weigh your options before making a decision. And hey, if you want to get a quick estimate of the all-in cost, we've got you covered. Check out our bankruptcy cost calculator below. It takes into consideration all those variables we just talked about.

Why Do Some Attorneys Charge Higher Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Fees? 

So, you're thinking about filing for bankruptcy and you want to know how much it's going to cost you. Well, the price can vary depending on a few factors.

First things first, if you're looking at bankruptcy attorneys in Spokane, you might notice that the costs can be different between two attorneys. That's right, they don't all charge the same. But here's the kicker - if you're considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Tacoma, the attorneys there often charge a standard fee called the "no-look fee". It's a fee that covers the usual services provided, so you can expect the costs to be pretty similar among these attorneys. However, when it comes to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, things can get a bit more unpredictable. The fees can vary greatly, so it's important to understand what you're getting for that extra money.

Now, let's break it down for you. The cost of a bankruptcy lawyer is usually determined by 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 - is it a no-asset case or do you have assets to consider?
  3. Your location - are you in Seattle or Spokane? Location can play a role in the cost.
  4. The level of connection you have with your attorney - are they your go-to person or just someone you found online?
  5. The attorney's expertise - how many years of experience do they have under their belt?

Let me give you an example. Imagine you're making $10,000 more than the median income for Washington, and you still want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Well, in this case, the attorney might need to spend extra time going through your expenses to see if you actually qualify for Chapter 7, even though you're above the median income. And you know what that means- more time equals a higher overall cost for your bankruptcy.

If you're hungry for more information. Check out this article, "Understanding Bankruptcy Lawyer Fees," 

Conclusion

Now, I hope this article has shed some light on the costs of filing bankruptcy with a bankruptcy lawyer in Washington. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out. And if you want to get an estimate of the costs specific to your situation, you can try out the free Washington bankruptcy cost calculator below.

More News Stories

April 6, 2024
Georgia Bankruptcy Means Test and Income Limit 2024

Just a quick heads up: We are all about providing information, not legal advice. We're not attorneys, but if you want to chat with a bankruptcy attorney in your city, they've got a free consultation waiting for you.

Read story
April 6, 2024
Colorado Bankruptcy Means Test and Income Limit 2024

Just a quick heads up: We are all about providing information, not legal advice. We're not attorneys, but if you want to chat with a bankruptcy attorney in your city, they've got a free consultation waiting for you.

Read story
April 6, 2024
Tennessee Bankruptcy Means Test and Income Limit 2024

Just a quick heads up: We are all about providing information, not legal advice. We're not attorneys, but if you want to chat with a bankruptcy attorney in your city, they've got a free consultation waiting for you.

Read story