Attorney’s fees are always a big issue for my clients, because money is tight and they are worried about how they can afford a bankruptcy attorney. It is important you to understand how attorneys’ fees work in chapter 7 bankruptcy.
I charge a flat fee for chapter 7 bankruptcy. This is because a flat fee is the easiest and fairest way to setup a client’s case. With a flat fee bankruptcy, the cost is predictable for the client and there aren’t any surprises. It also makes it easier to get the chapter 7 case filed, because a bankruptcy attorney can’t file a case when there are fees are due and owing. With an hourly rate, you run the risk of a big bill before the case is filed. With a flat fee, you know exactly how much is required to file the case and can plan accordingly.
So how much should you pay for a chapter 7 bankruptcy? Seattle Tacoma area you may see ads for bankruptcy attorneys that charge as little as $600 – $700 for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. That is the low end of the market, and you should be careful. You get what you pay for; and if you low rates, you should expect low quality. My chapter 7 flat fee is in the middle of the range. I charge from $1,200 to $1,500 for most chapter 7 cases, more if you are self-employed.
Why is my chapter 7 flat fee in the middle of the range? I believe in providing quality representation. Quality representation means taking the time to talk with my clients, return phone calls, exchange emails, and carefully analyze their case. It takes time. Additionally, I don’t have any hidden fees. I’m not going to quote you a lowball price, and then tell you that there are a bunch of extra fees. I don’t charge top of the market rates, because I believe in making bankruptcy accessible to my clients. That means I set my prices at a level where I can provide you the best representation money can buy, but the prices are still fair and affordable.
Are there every any extra costs on top of the flat fee? Rarely. Litigation is not included in the flat fee, because litigation is rare and the cost is hard to predict. The majority of my clients will not have any litigation in their cases. Typically, we can spot litigation before the case is filed and plan accordingly. Either we budget for it in the flat fee or we figure out how to avoid it. If you fill out the questionnaire completely and participate in the petition review process, then the risk of litigation is small and all you’ll pay is one simple flat fee for your chapter 7.