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Bankruptcy Attorney Fees: How Bankruptcy Attorneys Charge Their Clients

Almost any person in search of a bankruptcy lawyer will have important concerns about the cost of obtaining legal services. For many, being involved in a bankruptcy case alone is stressful enough – bankruptcy can be a complex as well as confusing process. Consequently, deciding between fee considerations of one or more lawyers can seem more difficult than it sounds. Nonetheless, attorney fees are a necessary part of most legal matters, bankruptcy included. Preferably sooner than later, you should learn how bankruptcy attorney fees work and what most bankruptcy attorneys charge, as well as how payment of fees comes into play.

Structure of Bankruptcy Attorney Fees

Every bankruptcy attorney has the ability to structure their fees uniquely. In general, attorneys will charge either a flat fee set before the case begins or will work on an hourly basis, charging some amount per hour spent on the case. Some attorneys may also request a retainer fee for them to officially represent you. Others may also require an initial consultation fee just to discuss the details of your case with you personally.

In terms of payment, most attorneys will request some if not most of their fees upfront. But many attorneys are willing to negotiate a payment plan if one is necessary. After all, most people filing for bankruptcy are obviously not in the best of financial circumstances. Before signing any contract with a bankruptcy attorney, always make sure to understand the structure of their fees and details surrounding payment.

How Much Most Bankruptcy Attorney Charge

Compared to most other types of lawyers, bankruptcy lawyers are not extremely expensive. Even so, bankruptcy lawyers do charge fees, and depending on your case and the lawyer you choose, the cost can be significant. As a general rule, lawyers with more experience charge more. Other factors in your case – the type of bankruptcy (Chapter 7, Chapter 13, etc.), the complexity of your case, and how long your case extends –will also affect how much your bankruptcy lawyer charges you.

On average, bankruptcy lawyers charge somewhere between $1500 and $3000 to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and $3000 and higher for Chapter 13 cases. Fees within this range are generally considered reasonable, but comparing lawyers can always reveal lower or higher amounts. Due to the complexity and length of cases, Chapter 13 bankruptcies are generally more expensive.

In addition to the “attorney fees” paid directly to your lawyer, other incidental costs may also be incurred and may not always be included in the fee. Some lawyers charge separately for the court filing fee. In some cases, the cost of a credit education course might also be separate from the bankruptcy attorney fees. Incidental costs will usually amount to as much as $400.