Chapter 13 Attorney Fees can be handled through a Chapter 13 Plan.
The law allows Chapter 13 attorney fees to be paid through the payments made in a Chapter 13 plan. However, if the debtor can afford to pay the fees in advance, then the Law Offices of Patrick M. Hunter usually requires the debtor to pay the portion of fees that represent an uncontested Chapter 13 prior to filing the bankruptcy. In addition, if the case appears complex, additional retainer fees may be required prior to filing. This retainer is placed into a client trust account to pay for legal work that is anticipated after the bankruptcy. Sometimes, if the debtor is being garnished or other factors such as impending foreclosures require immediate filing, a portion of the fees can be paid through the bankruptcy plan. The amount which can be paid through the plan usually depends on the complexity of the case, the likelihood of the success of the Chapter 13, the amount which is anticipated to be paid through the plan, and the ability of the debtor to pay fees before filing.
Amount of Fees.
The fees we charge to handle a Chapter 13 depend on the complexity of a case. A very simple chapter 13 case may run as low as $4,000 for the attorney's fees and a complex case involving different sources of income, businesses, numerous creditors, and other complex issues could require a retainer of $10,000 or more. Usually Chapter 13 fees run between $4,000 to $5,000. For that reason we do not provide fee quotes until an initial consultation is completed and the scope of the work required has been determined.
Chapter 13 Filing Fee
At the present time the Chapter 13 Filing Fee usually must be paid at the time of filing. In some cases the filing fee can be waived or put on installments. If however we are handling the case it is likely the fee must be paid up front. This fee is in addition to the attorney's fee.
All individual debtors must do “Credit Counseling” before filing and a “Debtor Education Class” after filing. The authorized providers charge for these classes – usually $35 to $50 per class. We are also required to serve each Chapter 13 Plan we file upon the creditors, this cost runs about $1.25 per creditor.