Having an experienced bankruptcy attorney on your side is the best way to ensure that your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing is successful.
For many filers, cost is an important consideration when deciding whether to hire a bankruptcy lawyer or attempt to handle the process themselves.
If you’re concerned about how much will you have to pay for legal representation, this guide can help you determine what to expect in terms of attorney’s fees and court costs. It’s important to remember, however, that legal fees vary depending on the nature and complexity of your case.
What’s Included in Your Legal Costs?
In most consumer bankruptcy cases, lawyers charge a flat fee for representation.
This fixed fee typically covers the entire process, regardless of the amount of time your attorney actually spends on the case. Some lawyers do charge by the hour, however. Others may charge a flat fee to handle the standard work involved with case and bill by the hour for any additional work required.
The fees any lawyer charges will depend upon several factors, including the lawyer’s professional experience and the complexity of the case.
Other Bankruptcy Fees and Costs
In most cases, these fees are not included in your attorney’s fees. In addition to the fees for court filings, your costs also may include fees for bankruptcy trustees and paralegals as well as any necessary travel or out-of-pocket expenses.
Your attorney can provide information on any court-specific fees, or you can get a full listing of these costs directly from the court.
Costs of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
In general, bankruptcy attorneys’ fees in a Chapter 7 case range from $500 to $5,000. People who are unemployed and have few or no assets can typically expect to pay less than those who have higher incomes and a large number of assets.
Most lawyers require that Chapter 7 filers pay all fees and legal costs in full before filing the case with the court. In some cases, bankruptcy attorneys will consider a payment plan, and for a small retainer, field collection calls from creditors until the case is filed. This can be helpful in freeing up funds to cover the remainder of the fee balance.
Costs of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy attorneys’ fees in a Chapter 13 cases are usually significantly higher than those for Chapter 7 cases.
This is because the lawyer must play a more involved role in Chapter 13 bankruptcies, spending much more time on legal analysis and in court. Typical fees range between $2,500 and $10,000.
Individuals will generally pay less than commercial clients and business owners.
In most cases, lawyers require that a portion of these legal fees be paid before the case is filed. Once Chapter 13 has been filed, payment for the rest of the fees will be arranged by the bankruptcy trustee, just like the payments to other creditors.
Remember that this information is only a guideline. Any legal fees and court costs associated with your case will be based on the details of your situation, and the anticipated effort required to reach a satisfactory outcome for you.
Contact Lewis Adams & Associates to learn more about what you can expect from a Chapter 7 or 13 filing. With offices in West Jordan, we serve customers throughout northern Utah.
Our experienced legal team will be happy to answer all your questions and provide a full breakdown of fees and costs necessary for retaining a qualified Utah bankruptcy attorney.