Bankruptcy Attorney Fees – How are They Paid?
One of the most common questions we get is: “I am struggling with my finances, how I can afford to pay an attorney to help me file for bankruptcy?”
Our goal has always been to combine:
- Highly qualified attorney representation with a specialty in bankruptcy law;
- Professional support staff that are compassionate and accessible;
- Affordable fees with payment plans available.
Acclaim Legal Services is a Michigan based law firm with seven convenient office locations: Detroit, Southfield, Flint, Dearborn, Ann Arbor, Lansing and Warren. Call us today at 866-261-8282 to discuss your unique circumstances. We offer a free consultation to review and provide a full evaluation of your finances and discuss your available options for debt resolution. At that appointment, we will provide you with a firm quote on attorney fees and discuss convenient payment plans.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorneys Fees:
The attorney fees for filing a Chapter 13 are actually set by the United States Bankruptcy Court in Southeastern Michigan. This means that there is a standard fee for administering a case and the main differentiating factor is the quality and professional experience of the law firm you choose.
Most of the time, our firm only requires the filing fee and cost of the required credit counseling and credit report to get your case filed. This total varies from of $370.00 - $410.00 depending if it is a single or joint filing. Once the Chapter 13 case is filed you instantly have the established legal protection of the Chapter 13 plan as well as the debt reduction benefits. We do this to:
- Reduce a cost barrier to filing which could result in an unnecessary timing delay.
- Most often the court-authorized reduced payments to your creditors cover the cost of the attorney fees. How does this work?
- In most cases, our clients are only required to pay back a portion of what they owe to their unsecured creditors based on their income and ability to pay. At the completion of the 36 – 60-month repayment plan, any remaining balances are legally eliminated or discharged.
- If we accept attorney fees through plan, payments are simply diverted to us versus going to pay down a portion of the unsecured debts. Regardless of the actual amount you pay, the balance is eliminated at the completion of the program. The plan is simply based on a percentage of your budget allocated to these creditors (which includes our fees).
To gain a full understanding of our debt reduction strategies through Chapter 13 Reorganization plan, call us today at 866-261-8282. We will breakdown the process into a simple explanation of how this powerful debt consolidation plan could help improve your finances and credit.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney Fees:
Unlike Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court doesn’t mandate a set amount for attorney’s to charge for bankruptcy services. Each firm sets their own fees and collects them directly from clients. Although there is court oversight and fee audits by the United States Trustee’s Office to protect consumers from abuses and excessive fees. The court filing fee to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy along with the required credit counseling and merged credit report is $395.00 for a single filer and $430.00 for a joint filing.
Our philosophy is to provide the best service at the most reasonable price. Our fees are on a sliding scale based on the amount of debt and goals of the individual client, for example:
- Maintaining real estate or a vehicle through the program;
- Number of creditors;
- Income in regards to if our attorney will have to perform a means test (client is over the median income)
We provide each client with a firm price quote after reviewing their circumstances at the time of the initial free consultation. We have two options for paying the attorney fees:
- $0 Down attorney fees by financing the fees through a third-party. This allows clients to file right away and stop any pending creditor actions, such as a lawsuit or garnishment.
- Pre-payment of attorney fees.
If we recommend filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and determine that you qualify, we will recommend that you stop making payments (including minimum payments) to unsecured creditors since the debts will soon be eliminated. Instead we recommend using these funds to pay the attorney fees in order to get your case filed and begin the debt elimination process.
We do provide payment plans over a six-month time period that is customized to your circumstances and ability to pay.
Choosing the Right Michigan Bankruptcy Attorney
It may seem difficult to choose who to help you through the important process of resolving your finances. What are the most essential factors to consider?
- Experience of the firm:
- How long has the firm/attorney been practicing in this area of law?
- What kind of continued legal education do they participate in?
- What association or credentials they have achieved?
- Do they have positive online review and client feedback?
- The age-old saying, “you get what you pay for,” can definitely be true when it comes to selecting quality representation. Over the years, we have seen a lot of inexperienced attorneys enter the practice and choose to differentiate solely on a low price point. We have also seen these same attorneys leave the practice because they don’t have the knowledge to properly execute a bankruptcy case and/or they haven’t planned for the staffing necessary to provide quality customer service and support. We often get calls from other attorneys’ past clients seeking information because they can’t get a return phone call from the attorney that filed their case!
It costs money to provide high quality staff to guide clients through the bankruptcy process. Fees cover this investment. Our philosophy is simply to strike the best balance between having adequate, highly-trained staff and attorneys while finding efficiencies to provide reasonable fees.
We understand that is an important decision to trust someone with your finances. You want reassurance that your choice will result in reduced debt and less stress. Call us today at 866-261-8282 to understand how we can put our experience and proven results to work to improve your finances.