Bankruptcy Attorney Fees – The Cost and How Can I Pay
When you think you may need to declare bankruptcy, don’t let the bankruptcy attorney fees stand in the way.
Read here to see what bankruptcy fees are involved with personal bankruptcy, and discover how to pay for a bankruptcy attorney that will help you get through this difficult legal process.
Bankruptcy Filing Fees
First, you want to be clear you understand there is a difference between bankruptcy filing fees and the attorney fees bankruptcy lawyers are contracted for.
Filing fees are the cost of filing the paperwork with the federal court that will oversee the case. Put another way, this is just the fee you will pay to submit your paperwork to the federal government entity that will put your case into the court system.
When you see “Bankruptcy Filing Fee $300.00”, realize this cost is outside of your personal attorney’s fees. While a lawyer or legal representative could prepare the paperwork for you, your filing fee is what you are being charged by the Federal Court system.
These bankruptcy filing fees will be the same whatever attorney you use or don’t use and wherever you may be in the United States when you are going bankrupt.
More importantly to understand, that cost doesn’t get anything else done except get your paperwork sent to the federal court so it can begin processing your court case in a federal bankruptcy court.
Bankruptcy Credit Counseling
Another cost you will encounter regardless of whether you file bankruptcy online, go through a do it yourself bankruptcy, or utilize the legal expertise of a professional legal representative is bankruptcy credit counseling.
Just as you have a set cost for filing your case with The United States Bankruptcy Court, the Court has also set the requirement that anyone claiming bankruptcy must also take a pre bankruptcy credit counseling course as well as a second course at the end of the process.
While the cost is probably going to be much smaller than the filing fee and will be different from one company to another, this is a requirement associated with the Courts, specifically the Executive Office of the U. S. Trustees who will be watching over what is going on with your case, money, and possessions, both when you file for personal bankruptcy and at the end of the period it took to process.
The Courts and its trustees want to know that if you are given debt relief that you can deal with the fresh start they are giving you. They don’t want to see you back again!
Just as it was with the filing fees, you’ll need to find money somewhere to get this done at appropriate times during the bankruptcy process. However, those fees are not set by your attorney and have nothing to do with any fees you would need to pay for legal services.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
If you hire a lawyer to prepare your paperwork, work with the trustees and courts, represent you when needed, and direct your every step during the process of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (Chapter 7 meaning your qualifying debt will be completely forgiven upon a discharge by the courts), this is where you will encounter the most fees.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney may charge $1,000, $2,000, perhaps even $4,000 or more for services, depending on how complicated your case is and also the going rate for lawyers in your area where you live.
While this amount may seem insurmountable when you’re already having money problems, a Chapter 7 attorney will be able to provide some guidance on what you can legally to which will help you cover most of not all of your costs for his services.
His or her wisdom and insight in finding funds during a Chapter 7 will be well worth paying him or her to make sure your case runs smoothly, does not get thrown out, and makes it through to a successful completion.
Most bankruptcy attorneys will have free initial consultations. Take advantage of that free service, and talk with the person you would like to use about how you can find the funds to pay for all the fees and costs associated with this process.
While it is expensive and you are basically broke, never throw out the idea of having competent legal representation and services when funds may have been available all along without your knowledge or understanding!
Talk to the lawyer you would like to use, and ask what you can do to help find the funds to pay for their services. If they are a legitimate lawyer, they will know the rules and restrictions as well as the rights and resources, and they can help you gain knowledge of how you can pay even when you don’t have the money on hand at that time.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
When you are filing for Chapter 13 (a Chapter 13 meaning the court is going to set up a payment plan your creditors will, by law, HAVE to agree to at which time you are clear of debt in 3 to 5 years) – in other words, a legal debt repayment plan – it is likely your fees for that Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney could also possibly be placed with your other debt for payment over time.
While the costs for legal fees with a Chapter 13 is similar to a Chapter 7 or perhaps slightly less, they are at least more possible to handle when those costs are worked out in ways permitted by law and over a period of time.
Here again, use your free initial consultation to ask what can be done to help you pay for all the fees.
The best bankruptcy attorney for you will be one that will help you find a way to pay for the professional legal services and correct legal guidance you so badly need right now.
Free Legal Aid – A Free Bankruptcy Attorney
For those with a very low income, you may be eligible for free legal services through your county’s legal aid office as well.
Check the website for your community’s legal aid office to see what income levels they serve, or call them directly to ask questions.
These fee legal service clinics can not help you just because you are in financial turmoil, but they can possibly help if your income is low along with the financial difficulties.
The Cost of Personal Bankruptcy and Attorney Fees
As you can see, there are several things that can be done to help with the cost of bankruptcy. However, before you even speak with a bankruptcy lawyer, you need to understand that the question “how much does a bankruptcy lawyer cost” is only part of the bigger question which is “how much does it cost to file bankruptcy”.
You alone understand how tight it is for you and your family right now. You might even be thinking those bankruptcy attorney fees may seem out of reach for you right now, prompting you to try to go through this legal process on your own.
However, when you are faced with this situation, it is best to have a personal bankruptcy attorney that will get you through the entire Federal Court process correctly so you can finally get the relief you need.
Yes, attorney fees for bankruptcy can add even more to the already fearsome costs of bankruptcy. Remember this though: Having someone who knows the law and who can get you through it all legally and properly is worth a lot. Fortunately, a lot can be done to find the funds to have that someone to help you do just that.