A percentage of callers always begin with that magic question: What do you charge for bankruptcy?
Price is always a fair question when it comes to hiring any professional. If I were paying a plumber to fix a toilet, or a dentist to pull a tooth, I want to know two things:
- is he experienced to do the job
- is his fee reasonable for my particular job
Sometimes you strike a good deal and sometimes you don’t. Hiring a bankruptcy lawyer is no different. Sit in on some Rhode Island bankruptcy court hearings in Providence for a day and you will quickly discover that good bankruptcy lawyers know what they are doing, but many “general practice” lawyers do not.
You will also determine which lawyers are running bankruptcy mills. I have seen some lawyers file 30 cases at once, miss filing deadlines and receive court sanctions for their poor representation. Don’t be fooled by the big billboards, the radio advertisements or their claims of filing more cases than any other firm. You should hire a lawyer who is respected by the court and the bankruptcy trustees; not someone who has a reputation of cutting corners and being unprepared.
So, back to the question of “price”. What do I charge for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy? It truly depends on what your case looks like. Its not like buying a gallon of gas where you just buy it from whoever is the cheapest. Bankruptcy is anything but a one-size-fits-all situation. Tell me your story first, we will explore all options, and if we are a good fit, I will quote you a price you can afford. (And yes, I do realize that if you had a lot of money, you wouldn’t be needing to call me. I get it.)
Filing for bankruptcy is a very complex process with specialized procedures tailored to your individual situation. Remember, your legal costs correspond to the complexity of your bankruptcy case. Fortunately, bankruptcy attorney fees are relatively inexpensive in comparison with the relief of having your debt cleared once and for all.
Another factor that will influence the amount of your bankruptcy attorney fee is the length of time your case will take to run its course. Generally speaking, a more complicated case will take longer for a bankruptcy lawyer to see through, resulting in higher prices than would be charged for a short, simple case. Easy cases should be done quickly and inexpensively. That is why I charge the lowest fee to a senior citizen, living on Social Security, with no real estate and only a few credit cards.
The costliness of your legal fees also depends on the size and volume of your assets and debts. In most cases, your legal bills will be lower the fewer assets, properties, cars, investments, and debts you have accrued. The Law Offices of Mark Buckley can provide an initial consultation to determine the value of your assets, and, consequently, determine the cost of your bankruptcy case.
Lastly, the amount of money you pay to file for bankruptcy is directly related to the type of bankruptcy you file under. When a client files bankruptcy under Chapter 13 of the US Bankruptcy Code, for example, his attorney can put the majority of his attorney fee in the Chapter 13 plan, a payment scheme that demands less money up front from the person filing.
As a RI bankruptcy lawyer practicing for 21 years, I have counseled thousands of good people struggling with bad debt problems. If you are getting collection calls, being sued for wage attachment, or just simply getting close to your breaking point, its time to call a professional.