The prospect on spending more money when you are trying to fix a serious financial situation can be daunting. However, it is something that you need to face when once you start thinking about filing for bankruptcy. It is important that you inquire about fees before you settle on a bankruptcy attorney Sacramento has for you.
Billing Methods for Bankruptcy Lawyers in Sacramento
One of the questions you have to ask potential lawyers are their methods of billing. There are usually two methods that lawyers use. You have to understand them so you can make the necessary financial adjustments and preparations as you deal with bankruptcy.
- Hourly Fee – Lawyers who charge by the hour often ask for a retainer fee. This serves like a down payment or initial fee. Your billings will arrive monthly, which you need to pay as promptly as possible. Bankruptcy lawyer fees by the hour are usually broken into 6 or 15 minute charging. You have to consider the differences since they can add up. Some of the factors bankruptcy lawyers consider in charges by the hour are complexity of the case, overhead costs, location, and their level of experience. Hiring the more competent lawyer who charges a steep rate by the hour may not necessarily be expensive in the long run. It might turn out to be a reasonable expense if you factor in the efficiency that can save you both money and time.
- Flat Fee – Flat fee may not be inclusive of all costs involved. For instance, court fees as well as other related charges may be billed separately. It would help to ask about other costs when discussing bankruptcy lawyer fees based on this billing method. Payment method and scheme may vary for different lawyers. You can ask for possible options regarding payments just so you can see if there is any you prefer.
Possible Extra Charges
Additional costs may be incurred related to your case. You need to be aware of the possible reasons and causes for these extra charges. The important thing is to cover all your bases. The last thing you want is to have unanticipated expenses that can cost you more than your budget.
- Court filing
- Fees for bankruptcy trustee
- Lawyer’s transportation or travel expenses
- Paralegal services
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
The cost to file bankruptcy for Chapter 7 may be cheaper, but it is not without its risks. There is a chance that you lose everything once bankruptcy is finalized. You have to make sure that you have enough left to cover for lawyer fees and other expected or unforeseen charges.
- Attorney’s fee – The lawyer’s fee can be somewhere between the $1,000 to $1,500 ballpark. The cost may vary depending on the complexity of the case as well as the attorney’s expertise and experience.
- Standard filing fee – Filing fee can cost you $306, which is the standard regardless of where you file the bankruptcy.
- Credit counseling – This is one of the stipulations included in the new law. It requires debtors to undergo credit counseling in any of the approved agencies prior to the filing of bankruptcy. This may cost as low as approximately $5 or ten times as much.
- Financial management course – Another requirement would be the financial management course intended to promote debtor education. This usually has to be completed before the conclusion of the case. This can cost you anywhere in between $15 and $50.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 is often a favorable option to many because it works by reorganizing assets or properties and debts to settle payment obligations. Repayment can either be made partially or in full. This type of bankruptcy is more complex, but it can help you save some of your assets that may otherwise be lost in Chapter 7.
- Cost of Chapter 13 bankruptcy – Choosing a bankruptcy attorney Sacramento has in its midst can help you in proceeding with Chapter 13. The cost of this type of bankruptcy is usually somewhere between $3,000 and $3,500. There are bankruptcy lawyers who may file the case for less. This is because the lawyer’s fees can be deducted out of the repayment plan.
- Credit counseling – Same as stated for Chapter 7
- Financial management course – Same as stated for Chapter 7
The potential costs involved in filing for bankruptcy may make you think twice about hiring a good lawyer to handle the case. However, spending your money on quality and reliable services can ease the stress and worries that permeates the prospect of bankruptcy. You have to discuss your financial concerns with bankruptcy attorneys who, more than anyone else, have a better understanding of the circumstances behind every case.
If you would like more information, simply head to our home page at Lawyers in Sacramento CA.