Many Bankruptcy Courts in California set a limit for what an attorney can charge for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy without having the fees approved separately by the court. These fees can vary from district to district and sometimes even from court to court within a district. Chapter 13 cases are much more complicated than most consuner Chapter 7 cases, and can last from three to five years.
In most cases, my office charges a “flat fee” for the basic Chapter 13 services of preparing the petition and plan, having an attorney appear with you at the Meeting of Creditors which you must also attend, and taking the case to “confirmation” by the judge. In the vast majority of cases, my office agrees to accept the fee approved by the court for that area for these basis, “pre-petition” fees and they range from $3500 to $4500 at this time, although this is subject to changes as changes are made by the Bankruptcy Courts. In some cases, some of these fees can be paid up front with the balance being paid through the plan and the agreement would be made prior to the case being filed.
Additional fees might be incurred during a Chapter 13, such as filing actions to “strip off” an unsecured second mortgage. However, any fees incurred after the Chapter 13 is filed must be approved by the court and paid through your Chapter 13 plan. Additional kinds of services which could incur additional fees include modifying a plan after it is confirmed, amending to add additional creditors, filing motions to avoid judicial liens, etc.
Call the office nearest you to schedule a free consultation with the attorney to see if a Chapter 13 can help you with your financial problems.
You should be aware that there is no standard fee that attorneys are allowed to charge for Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases. If you meet with 5 bankruptcy attorneys, the chances are very good that each one will quote you a different price. Some offices charge the same for every Chapter 7 case they file, and they should quote you a fee during the initial consultation.
In this office, the fees charged are determined according to the complexity of the case – in every case, you will be given a firm quote of what your case will cost during the initial free consultation. We probably do not have the lowest fees, but my fees are very reasonable, and we accept payment plans. Because I have been representing many clients over many years, I am able to keep my fees very competitive.
This office has been helping people with Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies since 1992, and has filed over 1,500 cases since that time. We are not a “bankruptcy mill” that files a large volume of cases per month. Every client meets only with the attorney, both during the initial consultation, and also throughout the entire process.
It is my belief that the fees charged for someone filing bankruptcy should be reasonable and those who require more services during their case should pay more, while those who do not require additional services should have the benefit of a lower fee.
In this office, you will be given a “flat fee” quote for services for your particular case. In all cases, this flat fee will include preparing the paperwork required to file your case and having an attorney represent you at the Meeting of Creditors, which you must also attend.
Some offices charge the same regardless of how difficult your case is, or if you require additional services. If you have a fairly simple consumer case without pastdue taxes which you are seeking to discharge, pastdue or disputed child support/alimony issues, nondischargeability issues, real estate issues such as pastdue mortgage payments on property you want to keep, you should expect the attorney fees to start at around $1,050.00 and the court’s filing fee is $299.00 for a Chapter 7 – so the total would be around $1,349.00. The fees will be more if you have a more complicated case and every case is different. If you require additional services, you will be quoted a flat fee for those additional services at the time of the initial consultation.
There are also fees paid to other companies for credit counseling before you file (www.cricketdebt.com – $36) and after you file (www.a247class.com – $17.50).
Be very careful when looking for an attorney to handle your Chapter 7 case. The following are suggestions you might want to follow in choosing a bankruptcy attorney:
1. Ask the attorney how long they have been practicing bankruptcy law and how many cases they have filed to get a good idea of their experience in the bankruptcy area. Make sure they do a good number of cases and have been doing them over a long period of time – your case could be a “learning experience” for an attorney without much experience – both in number of years doing bankruptcies and number of cases filed. Degrees from fancy colleges are impressive, but do they mean that the attorney has actual experience representing folks such as you in the bankruptcy courts?
2. Make sure that the attorney has a lot of experience in helping people with both Chapter 7 (liquidation) and Chapter 13 (repayment) bankruptcies. Attorneys must certify in every bankruptcy case they file that they have explained the different kinds of bankruptcies to you and how each of them could help you in your individual case. Chapter 13 bankruptcies in particular have become more and more complicated and you want to make sure you have an attorney who can give you advice about both types of cases, and who has the knowledge and experience to competently represent you in a Chapter 13 case if that is what you require.
3. Make sure that you are comfortable both with the attorney and with the fees they have quoted for your case. If you are not, then consider seeking a second opinion.
If I can help you resolve your financial problems with a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, call me today at the office nearest you for a free, no obligation consultation.http://bkhelpnow.com/wordpress
Contact Bankruptcy Attorney Susan J. Salehi to stop your foreclosure today at (805) 654-1467