Bill, what is the approximate costs from the lawyer if I file Chapter 13?
Currently, the filing fee for a new Chapter 13 case is $274, which is charged by the Bankruptcy Court to cover various filing and administrative costs. Beyond this amount, I cannot tell you how much your bankruptcy case will cost; the fee charged by your attorney will likely be calculated on a per-hour basis, so the total cost of your case will greatly depend on the complexity of your personal financial situation.
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Generally, your attorney will ask you to pay a retainer, or an up front fee, which can range from $500 to $1000 or more; subsequent attorney's fees are usually charged by the hour. Many attorneys quote an average total cost for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy of between $2000 and $3000, with the fee, less the retainer, being paid to the attorney by the bankruptcy court as part of your regular monthly Chapter 13 payment. So, if you pay a $1000 retainer, and your attorney's total fee is $3000, your attorney will be paid the remaining $2000 as part of your bankruptcy plan, much like any other creditor.
Back to you bankruptcy question... Beyond the filing fee of $274, the amount you pay to file bankruptcy will depend entirely on the fee arrangement negotiated between you and your attorney. Depending on the complexity of your case and the prevailing per-hour rate charged by attorneys in your area, your case may cost significantly more or significantly less than the figures mentioned above. While you will likely be expected to pay a retainer and filing fees up front, subsequent costs should be included in your bankruptcy payment plan. Before retaining an attorney to assist you with filing bankruptcy, make sure that you fully understand the fees you are expected to pay; feel free to discuss the fee arrangements with your attorney to verify that you completely understand all terms of the attorney retainer agreement. Regardless of your financial situation, you should find many attorneys willing to work with you in making their fees affordable based on your ability to pay. To learn more about bankruptcy, I encourage you to visit the Bills.com Bankruptcy Information page.
In addition, you can learn more about filing Chapter 13 by visiting U.S. Courts website at UScourts.gov
I wish you the best of luck in resolving your financial difficulties and hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.