Bankruptcy Attorney Fees Vary by Location. What is average in your area might not be so average in another area. Attorneys’ fees vary by district and can even vary widely from state to state. Even so, fees ranging from $ to $ are considered ordinary. But don’t be surprised if you find a lawyer to represent you for as low as $Author: Cara O'neill, Attorney. Apr 02, · Average Cost of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Major Cities. So, let’s take a look at some PACER info on the actual bill for an attorney. We took a look at a random sample of Chapter 7 cases in a few major metro areas to get a sense of the bankruptcy attorney fees in each area. In Los Angeles, the tab ranged from $1, to $2, Our bankruptcy law firm prides itself in providing our clients with reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to file their bankruptcy case. Our California bankruptcy attorney’s fees can range as low as $1, plus court filing fees and costs for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The filing fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy .
You probably know that attorney fees make up the majority of the cost of filing for bankruptcy. So, what can you expect to pay? Bankruptcy exemptions vary by district and some give more protection than others. The Trustee will sell that property and use the proceeds to pay your creditors. That cost may vary significantly by market. You can generally expect to pay more in a large metro area than in a small town.
The cost will also vary based on the experience level and professional reputation of the attorney. An experienced attorney in a well-established firm will charge more than a fresh law school graduate. An attorney will handle all of the administrative issues in the case — filing the paperwork in the right place and at the right time with the right content.
Local rules may require additional disclosure, but at a minimum attorneys must list their fees on the Statement of Financial Affairs, which requires a list of:. We took a look at a random sample of Chapter 7 cases in a few major metro areas to get a sense of the bankruptcy attorney fees in each area. In addition, many debtors qualify for free or discounted legal help, leading to even more variation.
One bankruptcy attorney in Los Angeles warns consumers to be on the lookout for competent, board-certified attorneys to handle their case.
A bankruptcy is delicate, and you want someone with plenty of experience to represent you. A difference on the front end of a few hundred dollars could actually cost thousands in the long run, including refiling fees. The plan will last for three to five years and at the end of it, your remaining unsecured debt is discharged. Presumptively reasonable fees vary based on the complexity of your case. For Chapter 13 cases, attorneys generally charge a certain fee up front.
Some attorneys will charge only the filing fee and others will want a larger down payment. As in Chapter 7, your attorney for your Chapter 13 case will handle all of the administrative work. We now know that attorneys may charge more for complications. However, not every case is so simple. For example, say the Bankruptcy Trustee objects to your valuation of some property you want to exempt. That question will have to be resolved in front of a judge. Your attorney will have to prepare a defense and appear in court, which will probably cost you a few hundred dollars extra.
Of course, these scenarios are relatively rare. There are many other areas that use this matrix to determine lawyer fees as well. But even if your area is not using the Laffey Matrix officially, it can be a useful guide to show you a starting place.
Of course, if you are in a much smaller town with a simple case, you should expect lower legal fees. And if you are in a big city with a complex case, you should expect higher average attorney fees. For , the Laffey Matrix guide shows as follows:. Years Out of School. Average Attorney Hourly Rate. Table: Average hourly attorney fees — years out of school.
Legal Fees Type 3: Retainer. Retainers are generally only used by those who need repeated legal help. Retainers are most often used by:. Since retainers are only advanced payment, there are no real average lawyer fees for retainers.
It is up to the discretion of the person or company for whatever types of legal services they require. A note on retainers: Having your lawyer on retainer should not be confused with paying a retainer fee discussed below.
Retainer fees are legal fees your lawyer may charge to start representing you. Legal Fees Type 4: Contingency Fee. The fourth type of lawyer fees you will commonly see is the contingency fee. Instead of paying your lawyer a certain amount whether you win or lose, contingency fees are a percentage you agree to give your lawyer from your settlement, only if you win your case. Contingency legal fees are common for:.
Of course, if the case is quite large, these legal fees could drop; if the case is quite small, they could possibly rise. Many people think a contingency plan is the safest bet since they do not pay if they lose. But the average lawyer fees with a contingency plan are often higher than they would be if the lawyer had charged hourly or flat rates. Remember, these lawyers are not paid with lost cases, so you can begin to realize why the lawyer prices fees more highly for won cases. Average Attorney Fees Chart.
To wrap up our findings about the average lawyer fees available, here is a simple guide. Remember, these are averages. Your case could be lower or higher depending on the details. Type Of Legal Fees. Average Cost Of A Lawyer.
Flat Fees. Hourly Rates. Contingency Fees. Other Possible Legal Fees. While you are considering your attorney fees, remember there could be a couple other fees that could pop up.
These are not guaranteed, but ask your lawyer about them the first time you call to set up an appointment. Attorney fees also go toward any of these legal fees. This is not a comprehensive list, but a good idea of what your lawyer might be paying for with his or her rates:. Most Americans look at these average lawyer fees with dread. The fact of the matter is that most of these legal fees feel out of reach for the average person. In fact, The Atlantic did a whole write-up on the phenomenon of having a legal system for the people — which the people cannot afford.