Attorney's Fees in Personal Bankruptcy Cases
Attorney’s fees in personal bankruptcy cases are generally a flat fee, fixed sum, and quoted in advance based on the predicted complexity of the case. There are two kinds of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 is the preferred kind for most people, since the debtor does not have to pay off any debts before liquidating assets and being absolved of all debts.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is generally for people with higher incomes. It gives the debtor more time to pay of some or all of their debts. Therefore, an attorney may not require any money down before handling the case. On the other hand, the bankruptcy case may be more complicated and thus more expensive, often costing more than $4,000.
In assessing the attorney fee for a bankruptcy case, the attorney looks at: the time and work required; the newness and difficulty of the problems; the skill required; the giving up of other cases; the usual fee; the experience, reputation, and ability of the attorneys; and the desirability of the case, among other factors. The client will have to pay the court filing fee.
For a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, attorneys generally require some kind of down payment as security. The amount of the down payment will depend on the client’s income, assets, and other relevant information.
Attorney’s fees for Chapter 7 bankruptcy ranges from $500 to $1,500, depending on the complexity of the case, plus a court filing fee. However, fees can increase to above $3,000 based on a number of factors. Complicating factors include: owning real estate, business, or non-exempt property; needing to reaffirm secured debts; owing more than $40,000; having income that is hard to verify, tax problems, and child support; and having a criminal record.
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Last Modified: 09-12-2011 02:54 PM PDT