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What is the maximum amount a document preparer can charge me in the state of California if I file without an attorney for ch 7

Escondido, CA |

Bankruptcy Petition Preparers are non-lawyers paid by consumers to prepare bankruptcy documents, for filing in court. If a BPP is a paralegal, can they charge more ?

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Attorney answers 6


The maximum amount charged depends on the district. So called "paralegals" do not have any greater rights than a member of the public. They are not authorized to work for the general public and must only work under the supervision of an attorney. Call the U.S. Trustee's office in district where your BK has been filed and prepared. They will have an answer to your question and investigate if the fee is excessive or the petition preparer is not authorized to prepare petitions. Good luck.

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$150 (theoretically) in the Southern District


Since you reside in the Southern District of California, I believe the maximum charge is $150 per local court rule.


In the Eastern District it is $125.00. This is true for paralegals as well.

Brian Crozier Whitaker

Brian Crozier Whitaker


I believe it's $150 in the Northern District and $200 in Central.


Here in central district, the most you can be charged by a document preparer (and yes, this includes paralegals no matter some of them think they are quasi-attorneys), is $200. Only an attorney can represent you other than yourself, so the paralegal could never go to court or your 341 hearing with you.


Southern District which includes San Diego and Escondido--$150. Here in the Central District the maximum is $200. That said, BPPs that give legal advice are practicing law without a license. The Office of the United States Trustee can give you more information.

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