Like the doctor, we can’t tell you how much your treatment is going to cost until we know what needs to be done. And like the doctor, we can’t tell what treatment you need based on a few quick facts. For this reason, we don’t set our fees until we see your entire financial picture.
It’s quite inexpensive to get our advice. For most consumer debtors, we do not charge to meet with you the first time, review your financial picture, and advise you about your options. Our first meeting is often a long one, and we look at your finances in detail. At the end, we will tell you in writing what it will cost to file.
On the other hand, filing bankruptcy is not cheap. Especially since important bankruptcy law changes in 2005, the bankruptcy process has become more complicated, and much more information is needed to file. This translates into more time for us and fees that have roughly doubled in the last few years.
Like most bankruptcy lawyers, we base our fees on a number of factors such as:
▸ Do you need to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?
▸ Do you have business debts or only consumer debt?
▸ Is your income so high that you might be disqualified from filing Chapter 7?
▸ Do you have debts that might not be dischargeable, such as taxes, divorce obligations, or student loans?
▸ Have you made payments or other transfers that might cause problems?
▸ Do you need file right away? Or do you need to wait to file?
Our fees reflect the time we believe it will take to complete your case. This can vary widely, but in most consumer cases our fee is between $1,000 and $3,500. Special situations may lead to higher or lower fees. In addition, you must pay a filing fee of $281 to $306 unless you qualify for a waiver.
In our experience, there is virtually no difference in the fees charged by experienced, client-centered professionals and those of less qualified lawyers. And selecting an unqualified lawyer can be a costly mistake. If you need quality representation in the Columbia area, please do not hesitate to ask us for help.