We offer very competitive flat rate fees for uncontested Chapter 7 consumer cases. Usually, $2,400 is the out-the-door cost which also include court filing fees, bankruptcy class fees, and a credit report.
Chapter 7 Attorney Fees must be paid prior to filing.
If we were to finance our fees, then when our client filed bankruptcy, we would be a creditor whose claim would be eliminated by the bankruptcy, obviously not a good business practice for us! As important, it would be unethical, since then we would be representing a client against ourselves. Clearly a conflict of interest.
Amount of Attorney Fees.
The fees we charge to handle Chapter 7 depend on the complexity of a case. Generally, Chapter 7 attorney's fees AND costs for a non-business uncontested Chapter 7 case usually run $2,400 for a joint (husband and wife) or single case (included is the court filing fee, the cost of the 2 classes that must be taken, and a 4 source credit report). Business or more complex cases will run higher. 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 7 Filing Fee
At present the Chapter 7 Filing Fee is included in the fee quote. In some cases, the filing fee can be waived or paid in installments. If however we are handling the case it is likely the fee must be paid upfront.
At present I include the Credit Counseling Class and the Debtor Education Class in my flat fees and will pull a credit report.
What factors can increase or decrease the fees?
The simple answer is complexity. If you have almost no assets, your income is the same every pay period, you are not close to the median income, do not have much if any money left over after expenses, have no tax debt, and no child support, then at times we can and will lower our fees to persons who can not afford our fees. However, even in the most simple case we believe that the fees we charge for a Chapter 7 are reasonable given our education, 40+ years of experience in bankruptcy, and the personal nature of representation we give.
On the other hand, the existence of significant assets, variable income with combinations of types of income, persons who are close to the median income, or over it, and individuals who have businesses, disposable income, tax debts, child or spousal support, or troublesome creditors will be quotes a higher fee, or will be charged at an hourly rate if some matters arrive as contested matters.