What Is The Cost To File Bankruptcy In Illinois?

There are several factors that can affect the cost to file for bankruptcy in Illinois.  The first factor is which Chapter of the bankruptcy code are you filing under?  If you are considering filing a Chapter 7, then you are going to have a fixed cost known as the filing fee.  At the time of this writing, the filing fee for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $306.00.  This fee gets paid directly to the Clerk of the United States Bankruptcy Court and is mandated unless a waiver is granted.  If you are considering filing under Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code, then the mandatory filing fee with the court at the time of this writing is $281.00.  Again, there are waivers in particular cases based upon the person’s financial circumstances.

As far as attorney’s fees, there is a tremendous difference among the many attorneys that compete for bankruptcy business.  It will also depend upon which part of the State of Illinois in which you reside.  For example, the cost in the city of Chicago may differ greatly from a smaller suburb or rural district in southern Illinois.  There is even going to be a range within the particular area.

For example, in Chicago, an attorney will typically charge anywhere from $850.00 all the way up to $2,500.00 for a Chapter 7 filing.  Since each case is different, your fee may be higher or lower depending upon the work required to handle your case.  Some clients have very little in terms of debt whereby others have hundreds of creditors.  The amount of time and energy required to complete the work normally dictates the attorney fee.

With regard to Chapter 13 fees, the Northern District of Illinois has provided a model retention agreement which allows for a flat fee of $3,500.00 over the life of the case.  This fee is accepted by the Judges without the need to itemize for time.  Clients benefit become they know that the fee is capped and that it is approved by the court.  Please keep in mind that the amount needed to file and the amount needed to retain with vary among attorneys.  Some attorneys will file your Chapter 13 case for only the court costs down.  There are other attorneys that will require a portion of their fees prior to filing and will accept the remainder as the case progresses over the months.


My best advice would be to locate several attorneys in Illinois and meet them in person.  At your meeting, you will get a strong sense of whether or not the particular attorney is going to be a good fit.  Has the attorney written on the subject?  Has the attorney been endorsed or recommended by prior clients?  Would the attorney be willing to provide a free, initial consultation to see if you even qualify?  These are just some of the questions that you should ask prior to making a final decision on which Illinois attorney you hire.

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