WHICH TYPE OF BANKRUPTCY IS CHEAPER?
CHAPTER 7 CASE
Overall, a Chapter 7 case is the cheapest form of bankruptcy. It is generally over in 4 months. You pay your attorney fee and costs up front (some attorneys provide a payment plan but all fees and expenses must be paid prior to filing). The first $400 (approximately) of the money you pay is for expenses.
CHAPTER 13 CASE
A Chapter 13 case will allow you to get into bankruptcy for a much smaller up-front investment. However, Chapter 13 cases, which last a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 5 years, cost you significantly more in the long run. If you need help, a good bankruptcy attorney will work with you to get you into a case you can afford.
CHEAPER ISN’T ALWAYS BEST
If you need help, a good bankruptcy attorney will work with you to get you into a case you can afford. Don’t fall into the trap of being driven solely by costs. Experienced and skilled bankruptcy attorneys may cost you a little more but you will find the cost is well worth the investment. Attorneys who offer fees below the market rate are usually fresh out of school, new to bankruptcy practice, or handling huge volumes of cases to make up for the low fees. Cut rate fees usually end up meaning you lose in terms of client/attorney time and help with your case when you need it the most. Additionally, you may find that once the fees/expenses have been paid, getting access to your attorney to get questions answered may become very difficult.
HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT ATTORNEY AT THE RIGHT PRICE
Meet with several bankruptcy attorneys and find the one that best fits your need for a reasonable fee and your need for access to your attorney. If you meet with an attorney that can’t adequately answer your questions or that spends very little time with you, what he or she charges doesn’t matter. You want to find an attorney that can answer your questions, one that will be there for you throughout your case, and that doesn’t leave you in the hands of an assistant. If you focus on quality representation, the price will take care of itself.