It is not expensive to file bankruptcy. In fact, it is probably the best demonstrable value for legal services that exists.
Chapter 7 cases are flat fees and the attorney takes the risk that the case will take more time and effort than envisioned.
A typical case costs just one to four percent of the amount you owe. Sometimes it costs just a month or two of the minimum payments made on credit cards. When you stop paying the credit cards under the protection of your law firm, it is relatively easy to finance your case. Your budget starts working better from the moment you hire the attorney if you’ve been paying your creditors prior to the consultation.
Where else in paying for legal services do you get an almost guaranteed leveraging of costs to benefit like bankruptcy? Not with your divorce attorney or if you’re defending or prosecuting a lawsuit. Those are expensive legal pursuits. Bankruptcy usually pays a dividend of at least 10:1 and in some cases even 1000:1 if you’re heavily indebted.
The financing of your bankruptcy case should be the least of your concerns, unless you are truly destitute. Competition keeps the fees all pretty much in line on Chapter 7s, and the Bankruptcy Court sets a recommended fee on Chapter 13s called a “Rights and Responsibilities Agreement” or “RARA” that is generally adhered to for practical reasons.
Worrying about bankruptcy fees and costs is letting the tail wag the dog. You need to make your decision whether to file or not first. If the answer is yes, get the best representation you can so you can feel comfortable that you case is handled in the best way possible.