Kentucky consumers who consider filing for bankruptcy rarely consider that getting out of debt will cost them. Yet, bankruptcy is not free. Should you decide that bankruptcy is for you, expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars to rid yourself of oppressive debt. Credit Karma explores the various fees and expenses associated with Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

For both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, you will have to pay certain fees upfront just to get a court to hear your case. The first fee is the filing fee. This fee changes each year, but as of 2019, the cost to file for Chapter 7 was $335, and the cost to file for Chapter 13 was $310.

You will also have to pay a credit counseling fee. The bankruptcy code requires consumers to go through credit counseling before it will grant relief. The fee for credit counseling varies from agency to agency, but it is typically fairly low, ranging from $50 to $100. If you cannot afford this fee, you may qualify for a fee waiver.

Finally, you must complete a debtor education course, which you must pay for out of pocket. You must take the course after you file but before the courts will discharge your debt. Like the fee for credit counseling, the cost associated with the debtor education course is low and ranges from $50 to $100. Again, if you cannot afford to pay the fee, the provider may waive it, or at least lower it.

If you choose to work with an attorney, you should also calculate in attorney fees. The cost of hiring a lawyer varies greatly and depends on your location’s market rate and the complexity of your case, among other factors. If you file for Chapter 7, you will have to pay the fees upfront, as attorney fees may qualify as dischargeable debt.

You should not use this article as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.