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How Much Does a Bankruptcy Lawyer Cost?

How Much Does a Bankruptcy Lawyer Cost?

Bankruptcy Attorney Fees

Any legal action undertaken by an attorney will involve fees, but attorneys charge different fees for the same work depending on the reputation of the attorney as well as the complexity of your bankruptcy.

Before the bankruptcy code changed in 2005, many people were able to file a petition on their own and represent themselves throughout the process, especially if the petition was uncomplicated and the debtor had few assets.

Today, most if not all debtors will need a bankruptcy attorney to ensure they meet the requirements for filing among other issues. For distressed homeowners facing foreclosure, sound bankruptcy advice is essential if they wish to keep their most valuable asset or to avoid taxation, a possible deficiency judgment, or problems with second mortgages.

Depending on where you live and the complexity of your case, you should expect to pay a flat bankruptcy attorney fees from $500 to $2,000 for a Chapter 7, plus the filing fee. You can usually find attorneys charging $500 to $700 for filing, but do your research and meet with the attorney personally to gauge his or her expertise. For a Chapter 13 filing, attorneys generally charge more so you can expect fees of about $1,000 to $3,000.

For corporate filings or for Chapter 11 business reorganizations, the fees can be much higher and generally are charged by the hour.

Filing fees do change periodically, but the filing fee for a Chapter 7 is now $299.00 and $274.00 for Chapter 13. A Chapter 11 is $1,039.00. If you can demonstrate an extreme financial hardship, you may be able to have the fee waived.

You should find an attorney that charges a flat fee if you have a simple, uncomplicated filing. If your attorney wants to charge an hourly fee, you may end up paying much more than you expected.

Should you have trouble coming up the necessary bankruptcy attorney fees, you may be able to get some assistance from legal aid firms or community programs in your city, or by contacting your county bar association for low fee or pro bono (no fee) attorneys who have been screened by the bar.

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