If I Need to File Bankruptcy, How Can I Afford an Attorney?
When a person makes the decision to file bankruptcy, it is because they are no longer able to afford their financial obligations. They may fall behind on credit card bills, personal loans, and other payments. With the addition of late fees and interest, they are not only unable to pay the original amount, but are driven even further into debt. With the decision to file bankruptcy, there comes the need to hire a skilled lawyer who can help the filing individual understand their options. However, one common concern involves the cost of filing for bankruptcy when funds are already stretched. Below, we’ve provided some information to help clarify costs, when they are due, and how payments are structured.
How Are Attorney Fees Charged?
Attorney’s fees in bankruptcy cases often vary. Some attorneys may decide to take these cases on a flat-fee basis, charging you one total amount for the entire process. Usually, if a person has a more complex case, the attorney would charge an additional fee to deal with the complexities. In other situations, an attorney may charge by the hour to handle the bankruptcy. Similarly, someone with a more complex case that takes more time to work on would most likely end up paying more than someone with a simple case. If your case isn’t complex, it can be more affordable.
In Chapter 7 filings, payment will typically be required prior to the filing of the bankruptcy; however some attorneys, like Wadhwani & Shanfeld, will offer affordable payment plans so the representation can begin without full payment up front. The reason for this is because Chapter 7 eliminates most unsecured debts, which means that any debt for attorneys’ fees would also be eliminated. Submitting full payment before your filing ensures that your attorney will be paid for the work that they do.
In a Chapter 13 case, however, you may have all or part of your attorney fee obligation added to your monthly repayment plan. It is up to you and your attorney to determine exactly how the fee is paid and if repayment is actually possible. In some situations, the attorney may allow the entire payment to be added to the repayment plan. In other situations, the lawyer may require an initial payment, but allow the remainder of the fee to be paid through the Chapter 13 plan.
Contact Us to Talk About Your Options
At Wadhwani & Shanfeld, we understand that this is a difficult time for anybody. We don’t recommend that you attempt to file for bankruptcy alone as there are many intricacies that you must consider. If you fail to factor in these considerations, you run the risk of having your bankruptcy petition denied or not including all of the eligible debt in the petition, leaving you liable to pay for these items. Our team wants to make sure you can afford the legal counsel you need while also making sure you can go through the bankruptcy process unfazed.
Our Southern California bankruptcy lawyers understand the concern regarding how you will afford a lawyer when you are already filing for bankruptcy. Because we truly care about our clients, we offer customized solutions that are completely unique to each person’s bankruptcy case. We work directly with you to make sure we offer manageable fees so our clients can reach the outcome they deserve.
Call Wadhwani & Shanfeld to learn more about our fees and how we can help you.