Articles Posted in Attorney Fees and Bankruptcy

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Bankruptcy law forces the attorney to “investigate” a client’s financial affairs closely. This investigation, combined with the preparation, planning and all other work involved in ensuring a case goes well, takes time. More time than it did prior to 2005 when the Bankruptcy Code was dramatically changed.

Both prior to the law change in 2005 and after, a common question attorneys hear is…”how much does it cost”?
The most common answer has stayed the same as well…”it depends”.

It depends because…every case has a different set of facts and every person is unique.

Despite this, we try, as do most attorneys, to set a flat fee for bankruptcy clients after review of the situation as follows:

Under Median Consumer Chapter 7 – $1650-$1800 Over Median Consumer Chapter 7 – $1800-$2100 Under Median Consumer Chapter 13 – as low as $500.00 but typically $1000.00 upfront remainder paid through plan monthly Over Median Consumer Chapter 13 – $1500.00 upfront remainder paid through plan monthly Continue reading

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If you have serious debt, and are considering bankruptcy, you have probably gathered that it will cost some money to find good legal representation.

There is the cost for the attorney, a filing fee, education course fees, and possibly some “due diligence” related expenses as well.

Is it all worth it? Shouldn’t you just consider representing yourself to save part of the cost?

What is that saying?…..”the more you know, the more you realize how much you don’t know? Something like that anyway.

Maybe put another way, “you know just enough to be dangerous”. No? ok maybe this…

Bankruptcy law and the law in general, are like an iceberg. On the surface, the iceberg doesn’t look that big. It’s pretty and white, sitting on a sea of glass.

But just about the time you think you can maneuver the boat right up next to it, you realize the larger part of the iceberg is under the surface, and your boat is sunk. Think “Titanic”. (You probably were anyway)

I often speak with people who have filed their own bankruptcy case, and come to me to ask for advice about the IRS debt that survived the filing. Many times, some experienced legal advice prior to the filing of the bankruptcy would have resulted in the discharge of the tax debt. The law that governs this advice…is the “ice” under the water.

What would the filer with this large tax debt, be willing to have paid for the advice if he could go back in time? What would the Captain of the Titanic have paid?
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Paying for things you need is one of life’s little dilemmas. Paying for legal help in Bankruptcy is one of life’s larger dilemmas.

A bankruptcy client’s common refrain is, “how do I pay for a bankruptcy attorney when I can’t pay my bills?”

There are a number of ways to come up with the attorney fee, some are sensible, others are borderline ridiculous. Smashing your 10 year old child’s piggy bank just isn’t worth it in the long run.

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A reporter outside of a courtroom asked a defendant clad only in a barrel: “Oh, I see your attorney lost the case?” The defendant answered, “No, we won.”

To some, this joke isn’t funny. By repeating it, I don’t mean to imply that all lawyers charge too much. We all know what one well spoken or well written sentence from an experienced attorney, can be worth. I mean, who hasn’t watched a “Perry Mason” episode or two?

I don’t want however, for my clients to feel like they have to wear a barrel, in order to get positive results. So, in exchange for some important things like experience, individual attention and hard work, I try to charge a reasonable and honest fee that represents what is necessary to be successful.