Greenville Bankruptcy Lawyer
John DeVore Compton, III
There are stages to hiring a bankruptcy attorney. Though your writer believes this article reflects the general practice among most firms, please note that the points listed in this blog relate to his practice.
The initial appointment:
Anyone feeling financial pressure (for whatever reasons) may schedule a no cost consultation by appointment. The prospective client must read and sign some initial disclosures. Then the interview can take place. The attorney begins working on the case starting with the interview. In the interview the attorney will examine tax returns, bank statements, income, assets and debts of the prospective client. This process is required because an initial decision needs to be made whether Chapter 7 or 13 (in 99% of the cases) best suit the individuals financial situation. The costs differ for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
A chapter 7 bankruptcy is also referred to as a “Straight Bankruptcy” and is designed for debtors who fall below median income and do not have the means to pay back a portion of his debts. Chapter 7 cases cost approximately $2,500.00 including Court filing fees, credit check fees, credit counseling fees and attorney’s fees.
Chapter 13 is designed to reorganize debts for those who are able to pay back all or a portion of what they owe over time – usually 60 months. The fees (including costs listed above) are approximately $3,500.00.
Chapters 11 & 12:
These cases have more expensive fees and costs, including quarterly monitoring fees. These cases need to be explained in person, as they are much more complicated.
Your writer’s firm allows potential clients to make payments over time to be able to afford filing for bankruptcy. In Chapter 7 cases, the whole fee must be completely paid before a case can be filed.
In Chapter 13 cases, half of the fee is collected plus court costs prior to filing; and the balance is collected through the plan of reorganization over time. No one should be apprehensive about hiring a bankruptcy lawyer out of fear that they cannot afford the fee. We will work with each individual debtor to help them get their case filed.
The only difference is if a debtor has an emergency or a pending sale date on their house. In those cases it is imperative that the potential client pay the entire fee up front (in Chapter 13 cases this means a bit under $1,900.00).
Sometimes Consumers have a lot of business debt, or a business itself may need to file for Chapter 7. These cases are also more expensive, and depend on the difficulty of the case. These fees should be discussed at the initial interview.
For potential clients who have very little income, it may be possible that the Legal Services Agency will accept their case. In such event, the case may be referred to us, and only the costs portion of the bankruptcy would be required to be paid up front – the attorney’s fees would be paid by Legal Services.
Don’t let fear of your financial situation prevent seeking a consultation for bankruptcy advice. We will find a way to help you.