Thursday, August 26, 2010

Increase in Consumer Bankruptcy Costs

People currently filing for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 consumer bankruptcy protection are facing as much as a 55 percent cost increase as one result of the 2005 comprehensive bankruptcy reforms, according to a new study published in the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review. In addition, as a direct result of these increased costs, unsecured creditors are being paid a smaller percentage on the dollar today than prior to the 2005 reform.

The study, authored by New York bankruptcy attorney Lois R. Lupica of Thompson & Knight LLP and funded by the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) and the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (NCBJ), reveals that consumer bankruptcy is a "far more complicated process than it was before the 2005 amendments" based on an increased number of conditions and calculations for filers in addition to a corresponding rise in expenses.

For the sample of Chapter 13 cases, the study found that the median cost for consumers was $2,930 in 2003 and 2004, with an increase to $4,077 in 2007 and 2008. For Chapter 7 cases in the same periods, the costs increased from $900 to $1,399.

Attorney fees are just part of the required administrative expenses that may have contributed to the overall decline of consumer bankruptcies, even in the face of the public's increased debt load, foreclosures, and loan defaults.

In the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division

An order establishing reasonable Debtor's attorney fees  in a chapter 13 was entered in Case no.  8:07-mp-00002.  This amount is adjusted annually on April 1.

The breakdown is as follows:

Amount To be Adjusted 4/1/2010

plans 36 mo or less  was $3,300 .00   now   $3,525.00

plan 60 mos was  $3,600.00  now $3,850.00

alacarte additional items 36 mo plan- with  No Hearing  $250.00  with Hearing $350.00

alacarte additional items 60 mo plan  with  No Hearing was  $275.00  with Hearing $375.00

Add Fee if if non-FL Exemptions applied was $250  now $275

The maxium amount the attorney may recieve through the plan each month was $500.00 now it is $525.00

As you can see the price of a chapter 13 has gone up everywhere.  We are still holding at 2005 prices of $2,500 (except in certain cases) with the addition of the al carte items.   Call 727-410-2705 today to schedule your free consultation ( Middle District of Florida- Tampa Division only).