How Much Does a Bankruptcy Lawyer Cost

We live in a world that is dominated by finance. If you are exploring your options, it is only natural that you ask the question “how much does a bankruptcy lawyer cost?” There are a variety of factors that determine how much the fees of your lawyer will cost.

The total bill will be determined by a number of factors such as:

  •     The length of time it takes to finalize the bankruptcy
  •     How much they charge at an hourly rate
  •     Their billing method
  •     miscellaneous fees like filing costs.

Most bankruptcy lawyers charge either an hourly fee or a flat rate fee. Either way, there will be additional expenses that you must pay in addition to your lawyer fees, such as:

  •     Consumer counseling fees
  •     Attorney travel expenses
  •     Copying costs
  •     Court filing fees
  •     Paralegal fees
  •     Trustee fees

It is possible to negotiate lawyer fees, but this should be done before you hire someone, usually during the first or second meeting with you lawyer. Once you sign the paper work and the lawyer begins working for you, it is too late to renegotiate fees.

Paying a Bankruptcy Lawyer by the Hour

If you choose this option then you will have to set up a retainer fee, which is like a down payment. This is to ensure that you will pay your bills. In addition, you will receive monthly bills that much be paid on time.

Bankruptcy attorneys that charge hourly break up time slots into 15 or 6 minute increments. This is a significant difference so be sure to do the math before you choose a lawyer.

For example, if you spend 5 minutes on the phone with your lawyer and they charge $200 an hour in fifteen minute time slots, then you owe them $50 at the end of that conversation. If, however, the same lawyer charges $200 an hour in six minute increments, then the conversation only costs $20.

When determining “how much does a bankruptcy lawyer cost” it is important to remember that lawyers who charge by the hour usually take these factors in consideration when deciding their fee:

  •     Years of experience he or she has
  •     Location and cost of living
  •     The complexity of a case
  •     The overhead it costs to run his or her office

Just because a lawyer charges more does not mean the you will necessarily pay more. Experienced lawyers are often more efficient with their time.

Hiring a Bankruptcy Lawyer with a Flat Fee

These lawyers handle routine matters such as writing wills and filing bankruptcies. This fee may or may not be all inclusive, but should give you the idea of how much does a bankruptcy lawyer cost. You will still have to pay court fees and other costs associated with your bankruptcy.

When and how you repay your flat fee will differ from lawyer to lawyer. Make sure you ask about payment options before you sign a contract with a lawyer.

Flat fees are usually nonrefundable as well. If you decide to change lawyers or not to file for bankruptcy then you forfeit your initial deposit and/or flat fee.

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