Cost to File Bankruptcy in West Virginia (2024)

Bankruptcy can feel like an overwhelming journey, but understanding the cost to file and the estimated bankruptcy attorney fees in West Virginia 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 West Virginia may seem straightforward at first, but some factors can make it a bit more complex. In 2024, the filing fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $338, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will cost you $313. However, if you decide to hire a bankruptcy attorney or if you're looking to have the filing fees waived, things can get a little tricky.

We wanted to get a better understanding of the attorney fees in West Virginia, so we dug into the public records database called PACER. It cost us around $1,000 to access this database, but it was worth it. Based on our findings, the range for Chapter 7 attorney fees in West Virginia is estimated to be between $1,000 and $1,500. Keep in mind that this is just an estimate, so if you want a more accurate estimate based on your specific location in West Virginia, we've got a free bankruptcy cost calculator for you to use.

Now, let's talk about affordability. If you're anything like me, you're probably wondering how on earth you're going to afford bankruptcy in West Virginia, especially when you're struggling to pay your bills. And with interest rates and inflation still causing headaches in 2024, it's a valid concern. While some bankruptcy costs like the filing fee and credit counseling courses are pretty similar across the board, the attorney fees can vary dramatically depending on where you are in West Virginia. Whether you're in Charleston or Huntington, the cost can be quite different.

So, the purpose of this article is to give you an idea of the overall costs involved in bankruptcy. We'll be focusing on two main categories: bankruptcy attorney fees and bankruptcy filing costs. Let's dive in!

Estimate the All-In Bankruptcy Cost in Your Zip Code

We've been getting a lot of questions about the cost of bankruptcy in West Virginia, so we decided to do something about it. We've built a database of attorney fees just for that. All you need to do is enter your zip code below, and we'll give you an estimate of how much bankruptcy might cost in your city in West Virginia.

1. Actual Lawyer Costs By District In West Virginia

Even though we've listed a variety of bankruptcy attorneys' fees above, the precise cost will depend on a few other elements. The location of the bankruptcy lawyer, the intricacy of the case, the attorney-client dynamic, and the level of expertise of the expert are just a few of the variables that influence the total cost. Considering the importance of geography, let's look at the bankruptcy district map for West Virginia and the real costs as displayed by the Pacer filing data.

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

Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia

West Virginia Northern District

Encompassing a significant expanse, the Northern District of West Virginia includes major cities like Wheeling, Clarksburg, and Morgantown. Operating within the Eastern Time zone, this district spans 32 counties. It features a central courthouse in Wheeling 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 West Virginia's Northern District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within West Virginia's Northern District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $1,300.00 to $2,331.00. 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.

West Virginia Southern District

Covering a substantial expanse, the Southern District of West Virginia includes major cities like Charleston, Huntington, and Beckley. Operating within the Eastern Time zone, this district spans 23 counties. It features a central courthouse in Charleston and additional court facilities throughout the district, overseen by 4 active district judges and 2 magistrate judges. The varied economic activities and vibrant communities in West Virginia's Southern District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within West Virginia's Southern District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $950.00 to $1,472.00. 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 West Virginia

Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in West Virginia might hit you with a bill of around $3,500. However, this fee can vary depending on the district you're in. Chapter 13 fees tend to be pretty similar across the board. It’s all thanks to something called "no-look fees." These fees are like a set price for the service you're getting. So, you know what you're in for. But hey, don't forget to check if your lawyer charges by the hour for any extra work they do after you file for Chapter 13.

3. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

Bankruptcy filing costs can be quite similar all across the United States, not just in West Virginia. So, if you're thinking about filing for bankruptcy, it's important to be aware of the various costs involved. Let's take a look at some of these costs that you should consider.

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.

West Virginia Filing Fee Waiver Guidelines

If you're struggling with Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fees, I've got some good news for you. There's a possibility that you could have those fees waived. One way is if you fall below 150% of the West Virginia poverty guidelines. Be sure to check out Chapter 7 Bankruptcy West Virginia Income Limit.

Mandatory Course Costs

When you're going through the process of filing for bankruptcy, there are a couple of courses you'll need to take in West Virginia. First, there's a credit counseling course, which helps you understand your financial situation and explore alternatives to bankruptcy. Then, there's a debtor education course, which provides you with the tools and knowledge to manage your finances after bankruptcy. The good news is that you can often complete both of these courses online, making it convenient for you to fit them into your schedule. And the cost? Well, on average, you can expect to pay somewhere between $10 to $50 per course. It's important to note that these courses must be approved, so you'll want to make sure you're selecting from the list of approved West Virginia credit counseling courses and 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 West Virginia by district and looking up your nearest bankruptcy court.

Will Inflation Affect the Cost To File Bankruptcy in West Virginia?

So, there's been talk about inflation subsiding in 2024, and one question that's been floating around is whether that could mean attorney fees won't go up. Well, let's dive into whether inflation might have an impact on the filing fee and attorney costs in West Virginia.

First things first, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee recently went up from $335 to $338, and the Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fee increased from $310 to $313. These changes took effect on December 1st, 2020. Now, considering these small adjustments, it's unlikely that the filing fee will hit you too hard in the wallet.

However, when it comes to attorney fees, things might be a bit different. Inflation could cause bankruptcy attorneys to shell out more money for their employees and face higher living costs themselves, especially in cities like Huntington, Morgantown, and across the state of West Virginia. So, you might see some inflation-related increases in attorney fees.

Would My Bankruptcy Cost Be Higher in Charleston Than in Morgantown?

You know, living in a cozy suburb in West Virginia can make you wonder about certain things. Like, should you hire a local attorney or look for someone in a bigger city like Huntington to save some bucks on bankruptcy costs? 

Charleston, with its population of 47,215, is the biggest in West Virginia. So, you might think that the cost of hiring a bankruptcy attorney there would be higher than in a smaller place like Morgantown. 

While the cost may indeed be higher in Charleston, there's a twist. You see, there's more competition among bankruptcy attorneys in Charleston, which means they might drop their prices to stay in the game. So, you could end up finding that the total cost of filing for bankruptcy, including those pesky 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? 

First, let's talk about Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in Morgantown. These attorneys often charge a standard fee known as the "no-look fee." It's a set amount that they charge for their services, regardless of the specifics of your case. So, in this case, you can expect the costs to be pretty consistent.

Now, when it comes to Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys, things get a little more interesting. The fees for these attorneys can vary quite a bit. And that's why it's crucial to understand what you're getting for the extra cost.

So, what factors influence the cost of a bankruptcy lawyer? Let's break it down:

  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 - different areas may have different costs.
  4. The level of connection you have with the attorney.
  5. The attorney's expertise - how many years of experience they have.

Let me give you an example to illustrate how these factors can play out. Let's say you're making $10,000 more than the median income for West Virginia, and you want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Well, in this case, the attorney may need to spend extra time reviewing your expenses to determine if you still qualify for Chapter 7 despite your higher income. And as you can guess, additional attorney time usually means a higher overall cost.

If you want to dive deeper into the world of bankruptcy lawyer fees, I recommend checking out this article: Understanding Bankruptcy Lawyer Fees. It'll give you a more detailed look at 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 West Virginia, check out the free West Virginia bankruptcy cost calculator below.

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