A review of the past four years shows that Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings, the most common form for individuals, have spiked during tax season or just after tax season. This suggests that taxpayers are using their refunds to file for bankruptcy and wipe out their debt, rather than funding a vacation or splurging on a big purchase.
Filings in March were 26 to 34 percent higher than the monthly average from 2013 to 2016, according to NerdWallet. Additionally, April’s bankruptcy filings were also 15 to 25 percent higher than other months.
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy costs the average consumer approximately $1,500 to discharge their debts. Attorney fees typically cost $1,200 and other court fees total approximately $335. Due to a 2005 law change that made bankruptcy filing more complicated, fees have increased in recent years.
According to the IRS, the average tax refund in 2016 was $2,860, which is enough to cover the average bankruptcy costs.
When Bankruptcy Makes Sense
You should consider Chapter 7 bankruptcy if the following applies to you.
- Your problem debt is greater than 50 percent of your annual income. This usually means medical bills, credit card debt or high-interest loans.
- You see no way of paying off your debt within five years.
- Debt is interfering with other parts of your life, such as hampering your ability to buy a car or save for retirement.
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If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.