Chapter 12 filing is for the single purpose of protecting family, farms, or fisherman with regular annual income. A Chapter 12 filing not only allows for a stay of action against a co-debtor, but allows the adjustment of the debts, more than likely a large lien secured by the farms/family farm house, in such a way to allow the family farmer or the fisherman to retain the property.
Adjustment of Bankruptcy Fees
Chapter 7 bankruptcy costs you $335 in court filing fees, assuming it does not involve any kind of repayment plan. All attorneys’ fees must be paid before filing in these cases.
Attorney Fees are Public Record
That’s right — your attorney has to disclose his or her fees and any adjustment made thereupon and they’re available to the public. You can research any bankruptcy law firm’s fees on the federal PACER website. PACER costs $0.10 per page viewed and you can search either by bankruptcy district to get a general sense of the fees in your area of by specific law firm to get an idea of what a particular attorney will charge. 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:
… all payments made or property transferred by or on behalf of the debtor to any persons, including attorneys fees, for consultation concerning debt consolidation, relief under the bankruptcy law, or preparation of a petition in bankruptcy within one year immediately preceding the commencement of this case.
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 $1,500 to $2,000. In Dallas, it was $774 to $1,820. In Miami, attorneys charged anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000, and in New York City, the bill was in the range of $1,000 to $2,200.
There’s a lot of adjustment and variation depending on the complexity of the case. 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.
Chapter 13 filing fees are $274. These are cases in which you repay all or part of your debts over a period of time.
And finally, Chapter 11 cases have a filing fee of $1,717.
Generally, attorneys may charge in the range of $500-$1500 for simple Chapter 7 cases. It is quite common for Chapter 13 cases to have fees of $2000-$4000 for the initial retainer before the filing and the balance paid out over a period of time or through the trustee’s disbursements. As the debtor make his monthly payment to the trustee, the trustee pays out the allowed administration fees including the attorney, taxes, and others in line with their priority.
Chapter 11 attorneys are generally chosen for their experience and record of success and are not confined usually by the attorney’s rates.
Your actual legal fees that an attorney would charge will depend on how much time is needed to resolve your case. Before 2005 and the new BAPCPA bankruptcy law, the “Bankruptcy Reform and Consumer Protection Act,” many attorneys quoted a flat fee and additional fees for, particularly complicated cases. Unfortunately, under BAPCPA, all cases are now complicated, and most attorney’s fees depend on the amount of time involved.
There are certain ways to have an adjustment to raise attorney fees in order to pay an attorney, in the most common way is to borrow against non-exempt assets, especially in a case of Chapter 11 filing. Typically, in Chapter 13 bankruptcy or Chapter 7 filings, at least early on in the year, the Debtor may have access to tax refund money, which allows for payment of some or all those monies to the attorney to fund the bankruptcy filing.
I know there is a lot of information here so my advice is to call our office at (775) 786-7600 or (775) 690-2190 anytime to set up a complimentary and confidential consultation with me at your earliest convenience. You can also visit our new business Facebook Page for more information.