Cost to File Bankruptcy in Wisconsin (2024)

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

Filing for bankruptcy may not be as straightforward as it seems. Sure, there are some fixed costs involved, like the filing fees. In 2024, it'll set you back $338 for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and $313 for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, there's more to consider.

If you decide to hire a bankruptcy attorney to guide you through the process, things can get a bit more complicated. We did some digging and spent around $1,000 on PACER, a public records database that shows bankruptcy attorney fees. We found that the Chapter 7 attorney fee range in Wisconsin can be anywhere from $1,100 to $1,500.

If you want a more accurate estimate based on your specific location in Wisconsin, we've got you covered. Just take a look at our free Wisconsin bankruptcy cost calculator below. It'll crunch the numbers and give you a better idea of what you're looking at.

When it comes to attorney fees, things can get a bit wild. The cost may vary drastically depending on whether you're in Milwaukee or Madison. So, brace yourself for some unpredictability on that front.

In this article, we'll break down the estimated all-in costs of filing for bankruptcy in Wisconsin. We'll focus on two main areas: 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 bankruptcy costs in Wisconsin, so we decided to do something about it. We've gone ahead and created a database of attorney fees just for you. Now, all you need to do is enter your zip code below, and we'll give you an estimate of how much bankruptcy will cost you in your city in Wisconsin. 

1. Actual Lawyer Costs By District In Wisconsin

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. Given the significance of geography, let's examine the Wisconsin bankruptcy district map and the actual costs as shown by the Pacer filing data.

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 Wisconsin

Wisconsin Eastern District

Encompassing a significant expanse, the Eastern District of Wisconsin includes major urban centers like Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Racine. Operating within the Central Time zone, this district spans 28 counties. It features a central courthouse in Milwaukee 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 Wisconsin's Eastern District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within Wisconsin's Eastern District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $1,452.00 to $1,812.00. 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.

Wisconsin Western District

Covering a substantial expanse, the Western District of Wisconsin includes major cities like Madison, La Crosse, and Eau Claire. Operating within the Central Time zone, this district spans 44 counties. It features a central courthouse in Madison and additional court facilities throughout the district, overseen by 3 active district judges and 2 magistrate judges. The varied economic activities and vibrant communities in Wisconsin's Western District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within Wisconsin's Western District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $2,292.00 to $2,300.00. 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 Wisconsin

Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in Wisconsin can charge around $4,500. Now, the actual fee might vary depending on the district you're in. While Chapter 7 attorney fees can differ quite a bit, Chapter 13 fees tend to be more similar. They are often based on something called "no-look fees," which are considered a fair cost for the services provided. However, it's worth noting that some attorneys may also charge an hourly rate for any extra work that needs to be done after filing for Chapter 13. So, it's always a good idea to check with your attorney about their specific fee structure.!

3. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

Bankruptcy filing costs in the United States are pretty much the same, no matter where you are. And that includes Wisconsin. There are some other costs you need to think about too. Let's dive in and find out what they are.

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.

If you want more detailed information about the filing fee, you can check out the Wisconsin filing fee information. Just click here to find out more. 

Wisconsin Filing Fee Waiver Guidelines

If you're considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Wisconsin, you might be able to get your filing fees waived if your income falls below 150% of the Wisconsin poverty guidelines. Be sure to check out Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin. 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin by district and looking up your nearest bankruptcy court.

Will Inflation Affect the Cost To File Bankruptcy in Wisconsin?

First things first, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee got a little update. It went from $335 to $338. And the Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fee went from $310 to $313. Which is just a minor increase. So, I wouldn't sweat it too much. This slight bump shouldn't put a dent in your wallet. However, inflation can have a sneaky way of creeping into attorney fee costs. You see, as inflation kicks in, 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 Madison or Green Bay, or even across the whole state of Wisconsin. All these factors could add up and result in some inflation-induced price hikes for attorney services. So, while the filing fee might not give you sleepless nights, keep an eye out for potential increases in attorney fees.

Would My Bankruptcy Cost Be Higher in Milwaukee Than in Green Bay?

Now, you might think that the cost of hiring a bankruptcy attorney in Milwaukee, the most populous city in Wisconsin with a population of 592,025 people, would be sky-high compared to a smaller city like Green Bay.

While it's true that the cost might be higher in Milwaukee, there's also a silver lining. The sheer number of bankruptcy attorneys in the city means there's fierce competition, leading to lower prices. So, believe it or not, filing bankruptcy in Milwaukee might end up being cheaper than in your city.

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? 

When it comes to Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in Green Bay, things are a little different. They usually charge a fixed fee called a "no-look fee." It's like a standard fee that they charge for their services. So, you can expect the cost to be pretty similar no matter which attorney you choose.

When it comes to Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys, the fees can vary. And that's why it's important to understand what you're getting for the extra cost.

So, what factors determine the cost of a bankruptcy lawyer? Well, there are a few things to consider:

  1. The type of bankruptcy you're filing. Are you going for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?
  2. The complexity of your case. Do you have any assets or is it a "no asset" case?
  3. Your location. Are you in Milwaukee or Madison?
  4. The lawyer's experience and connections. Are they well-established in the field?
  5. The attorney's expertise. How many years have they been practicing?

Let me give you an example to make things clearer. Let's say you make $10,000 more than the median income in Wisconsin, and you want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Well, in that case, the attorney may need to spend more time reviewing your expenses to see if you still qualify for Chapter 7, even though you're above the median income. And as you can imagine, more attorney time 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 Wisconsin, check out the free Wisconsin 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