Affordable Bankruptcy Fees And Costs: What Does It Cost To File Bankruptcy?
This is, understandably, one of the most often asked questions by those needing to file bankruptcy. At Borders & Gerace, LLC, we understand that you are currently having difficulty paying your debts and need experienced and affordable help from our bankruptcy attorneys. Giving out fee quotations before having a full understanding of a prospective client’s situation is difficult, however like any personal service situation, everything is subject to negotiation, and at Borders & Gerace, LLC, we endeavor to work with all clients so that they are comfortable with the payment amounts and how the representation is structured. Having said this, the following guidelines may be helpful.
Chapter 7 Cases
In a Chapter 7 case, the fee for a client with primarily consumer debts and with no anticipated litigation can be expected to start at approximately $750 and go up from there based on the complexities of the bankruptcy case and current financial situation of the client. In addition to the fee, the court charges a filing fee of $331 for Chapter 7 cases. This does not go to the attorney but instead is paid to the court. There are always exceptions. Once we have the opportunity to speak with you over the phone or at a free bankruptcy consultation we can provide you with an exact fee and provide payments terms that will not be overwhelming.
Chapter 13 Cases
Court costs for a Chapter 13 case are $306. In Ohio, the bankruptcy courts have established the fees that an attorney can charge for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing. The fee can be divided into up-front fees and fees deferred and included in the Chapter 13 plan. This is where attorneys can be flexible and take less up-front fees to help you get your bankruptcy case filed. Usually, some portion of the fee is paid at the time of filing, together with the court costs. A workable amount of the fee paid at the time of filing often is $300 to $800 (in addition to the court costs); however, this is subject to negotiation between you and Borders & Gerace, LLC, should you retain us.
How Do I Pay The Fees And Costs?
In a Chapter 7 case, all fees and court costs must be paid prior to the time that the petition is filed with the court. Any other arrangement, such as an agreement to make payments after filing, must be discussed with a Borders & Gerace, LLC, attorney. If payment of these funds all at once presents a problem, one possibility is to make payments over time prior to filing. Once you have paid a retainer amount that we agree on, you may advise your creditors that you have retained an attorney. Our office will confirm this with your creditors, and attempt to slow down their collection attempts hopefully, long enough to enable you to gather all the necessary funds in order to file.
As indicated above, most of the fees in a Chapter 13 typically are paid as part of your plan payments. As you pay the trustee on a monthly basis, the trustee will pay the legal fees over a period of time.
Payment of the legal costs can be paid by cash, money order, check or debit from your checking account.
What about using a credit card to pay the legal costs? We probably do not even need to mention that if you are filing a bankruptcy petition you should not use your credit card to pay for the cost of filing. However, if you have a relative or friend who is willing to help you with the expense by using his or her credit card to give you the necessary amount, this is fine. (Make sure that the transfer is a gift, not a loan. Otherwise, you will have to list this debt in your schedules.)
What Is The Value You’re Getting?
When deciding on a bankruptcy attorney, it’s important to consider value, not just cost. Choosing an attorney with the lowest fees is rarely the wisest decision. Instead, consider the value of what you’re getting: Are you benefitting from the insight of a lawyer with extensive experience handling hundreds or thousands of cases? Have they devoted their career to this practice area? Do they know the ins and outs, the pitfalls and challenges, and how to overcome them? You’ll get the most bang for your buck by choosing a lawyer who will provide the most thorough and knowledgeable guidance.
Does This Attorney Value Client Service?
Your experience during the bankruptcy process matters. You’re pursuing bankruptcy to get out from under the stress and worry of financial struggles. You shouldn’t end up with additional worries as a result of a lawyer who doesn’t return your calls and doesn’t keep you updated. A commitment to excellence in client service is a big thing to look for when choosing a bankruptcy attorney.
What Kind Of Experience Does The Attorney Have?
Experience is an important factor in choosing a bankruptcy lawyer. At Borders & Gerace, LLC, we have decades of experience handling thousands of bankruptcy cases. We understand all facets of the process, so there are no surprises and no hurdles we can’t handle.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.