The Law Offices of Ken McCartney P.C.

Fees

 

What will I have to pay to speak with an attorney?  What does it cost to file bankruptcy?

These are sincere questions and every client has the absolute right to a no nonsense answer.

   " A lawyer's time and advice are his stock in trade."  Abraham Lincoln

      By having prospective debtor clients prepare for an initial interview, we are able to meet with clients at no charge unless the firm goes forward on behalf of the client.  During that meeting, if a bankruptcy appears to be the best option under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, an agreed fixed fee will be quoted. This is not a "free initial consult," however, there will be no charge unless we can help.

Seldom do our fixed fee bankruptcies ever involve additional charges, and then only after a written warning that complexities have developed.  In that warning our clients are given choices about incurring and paying for these charges. 

By not having a fixed fee for every Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, clients with simple circumstances do not pay for complex client cases.

We do not quote fees over the telephone.  This office is not a leader in debtor representation because it competes by price with other bankruptcy attorneys.

Numbers?

Our year 2013 Chapter 7 clients will pay total fees, including the court filing fee, between $900 and $7500.

Our Chapter 13 clients in the year 2013, will pay a portion of their fee pre-filing (between $1281 and $2081) and the balance of the fee without interest through their trustee included in the monthly payment under their plan.  The portion under the plan ranged from $1200 to $5000.  The "no look" fee in Wyoming and Colorado (the sum the court presumes is allowable without requiring a detailed exhibit of time entries  is currently a total of $3,500 which turns out to be a very common sum charged. Generally speaking, Chapter 13 is three times more expensive than Chapter 7.  Why file a more expensive bankruptcy--chapter 13?  If you owe $16,500 in mortgage arrearages that cannot be caught up by writing a check, Chapter 13 may save your home.

Chapter 11 clients need to prepare for a process that will have an initial cost of a minimum of $8,539.  Legal work is done by the hour in Chapter 11's.  In each case a detailed fee application(s) must be presented to the court, and payment is conditioned on court approval in every case.  That alone is a time consuming task in protracted cases.  There is no such thing as a typical chapter 11. Fees between $9,500 and $30,000 are frequent.  Some cases exceed $30,000 where there are contentious creditors or committees. 

Creditor representation and Work Outs are all done on an hourly basis, usually with a retainer approximating the minimum foreseeable fees.  It is very difficult for an attorney that practices insolvency law to  undertake contingent representation of a creditor.

 

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