When you are planning for filing for a Bankruptcy, it's essential to know about the fees or the Attorney associated with filing the claims. Contrary to the popular myth that the fees for bankruptcy claims are decided by the court, it mostly depends on the type of bankruptcy claim and the law firm handling the case. Most of the times, there is a flat fee for filing, but it may vary depending upon the nature of the case and the legal aid being availed for filing such cases.
Let's look at some of the types of costs and fees that may be asked by your Law Firm while assisting you for filing the popular bankruptcy claims under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
Average cost for Chapter 7 fees:
If you are going for filing Chapter 7, the fees of your attorney will largely depend upon the complicacy of the case. For simple bankruptcy claims, there may be a flat fee, but for complicated cases, it's the law firm that decides your fees and cost of arbitration. Also, if you are falling into a higher income group and your assets are more than the state median for a similar household, you may be asked for a higher fees as compare to the person who has no or negligible assets. Also you have to pay the fees upfront in most cases before filing.
Typically will charge something in between $ 500 – $ 3000 depending upon the complicacy of the case. Bigger and popular firms may charge you a bit higher as compared to individual legal practitioners. Similarly you can also expect comparably less fees from a new Law firm as compared to a well-established one. It's always advised to check with a few from your area to know about their specific fees structures before hiring them. Also if you are looking for a cheaper Bankruptcy Attorney, you must check their specialization and experience and not only the fees.
Average estimation of Chapter 13 fees:
Most of the courts in various states have set a guideline for average fees for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorneys. Unless, otherwise justified, no Law Firm will charge you more for filing Bankruptcy under Chapter 13. For different judicial districts the fees vary and its typically around $ 2000 – $ 5000 in different districts. There is always a facility to pay the fees in installments and you don't have to pay it upfront.
In most of the cases under Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, there is a upfront fees that is asked by your Bankruptcy Attorney and the remaining amount is asked through a convenient repayment plan scheduled over a few months. It's always advised to be ready to pay almost half of the fees in advance and the remaining through installments, if someone is going for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
Depending upon the nature of the case, you may be asked for an hourly fee by your Bankruptcy Attorney.
Depending whether you are filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13, your Bankruptcy Attorney may set a flat fee for the case filing.
If at any time someone thinks that the fee asked by the Bankruptcy Attorney is unusual and not justified, he / she may seek courts approval for any such fees structures. Approvals can be taken from the court for a justified amount of fees and that can be paid to the Bankruptcy Attorney upfront or in installments as decided by the court.
Always remember to clear your stance on fees from your Bankruptcy Attorney to avoid any confusion and file a favorable bankruptcy claim.