The role of a bankruptcy lawyer varies quite a bit for various types of bankruptcy. For example, Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 are two of the more common types of bankruptcy. The role of an lawyer in a Chpater 13 bankruptcy case is much more involved and thus, more expensive than a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. There is significantly more legal analysis necessary, as well as more time spent in court, and an extended length of representation. Overall, a Chapter 13 case is much more complex and requires greater responsibility than a Chapter 7. The structure of the fees is also different between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Although fees for a bankruptcy lawyer can vary quite a bit in different geographical areas, for Chapter 13 bankruptcy it is likely that the lawyer will be representing an individual between 3-5 years, which would likely cost between $2200 and $3200. Fortunately, most bankruptcy lawyer’s do not require the fee in full before filing the case, so the entire amount would likely not be due up front. The attorney is taking on a risk by doing the majority of the work upfront, so the lawyer has a strong monetary incentive to getting the Chapter 13 bankruptcy confirmed and discharged.
In comparison, Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires less legal work, and thus lower fjohnhoogelawofficeees, but they often require the fees to be paid in full before the case is filed. If they were not, the fees that were owed to the attorney could just be included in the bankruptcy and lawyer could not collect the fees. Once again, the prices can vary geographically, but are often between $800 and $s500. This fee is based on the estimated time the lawyer is likely to spend working on the case. After a Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer is retained, the client can stop paying creditors that are anticipated in being included in the bankruptcy. The lawyer will then file the claim in federal bankruptcy court.
Bankruptcy is a common and practical solution to an individual in excessive debt; however it is not always the best solution, if needed at all. If the debt is disputed, and a creditor sues an individual, if it is not justified, and debtor may be able to defend against the accusation. Even in non-disputed debts there can be alternatives to bankruptcy. Creditors may allow an informal payment plan to be worked out so that bankruptcy is avoided. Nonprofit credit counseling agencies can often be of assistance in this situation. Another option to bankruptcy in a non-disputed debt would be refinancing the debt into more manageable payments. Although this does not eliminate the debt, it may help an individual work out a more manageable payment plan that eliminates the need to file for bankruptcy.