What will bankruptcy cost?
Our prices are low because we file a lot of cases and we can do things very efficiently. We pass that savings on to our clients. However, we don’t want you to hire us because of ‘price’. You should hire us because we are excellent and we will handle everything properly and quickly. If you are simply price shopping, please read the story below and re-think how you want to handle this very important decision.
Also, beware of ads for $399, $500 or $699 bankruptcy. Such promises are false and misleading. I will explain just why…
Bare Minimum Bankruptcy Costs
|Bankruptcy Filing Fee||$335||This is mandatory and is the same across the board.|
|Credit Counseling Fee||$60 to $100||Depends on the service|
|Postage, Paper & Mailing Fee||$10 or $15||Required for filing paperwork|
So, before you have paid a penny to an attorney to do your paperwork or go to your hearing, you are spending within the $450 range. $450 just for costs. No services yet.
That also doesn’t count getting an attorney to do all your paperwork (about 70 pages) or collect all your documents and go to your hearing. Just the hearing takes your attorney several hours in travel and actual hearing time.
So, if you are thinking this through, you have to wonder, what sort of attorney would work for 4 to 6 hours for $200 or $300? I promise you it is not a careful one or one who will properly handle your case.If the costs are $450 and the attorney charges $300, you are already over $700 and you have an attorney who is terrible. There is no such thing as a $500 bankruptcy.
What is happening is that hungry and disreputable attorneys or advertisers are trying to ‘get you in the door’. Telling you their ‘fees’ but not the real cost of a bankruptcy.
The True Costs of a Bankruptcy
The low-end cost of a bankruptcy for a really simple case (no assets, low income, low debt) for a legitimate bankruptcy attorney is in the $1300 range. For someone with a house or high income or high debt or a business, it only goes up. But believe me, it is money well spent. More complicated cases are $2000 to $12,000. It really all depends on the details.
The difference between what a really good attorney can do for you is incredibly valuable. It could mean the difference between saving your assets, getting a car for free, eliminating tax debt, and more typically, the difference between a case that is smooth and over in one month, vs a case that has problems and drags on and gets you into trouble. Again, having handled almost 20,000 matters, I can tell you that having a really great attorney makes a world of difference.
Consider the story of two painters, Dufus and Prudent
The first painter, Dufus, gets a call from a prospective client. The caller asks, “how much will you charge to paint my house” The painter replies “I charge $1000 to paint a house”.
The client thinks that is expensive and calls the second painter. The second painter, Prudent, answers the phone. The caller asks, “how much will you charge to paint my house? Will you paint it for less than $1,000?”. Prudent replies with a series of questions about how many rooms, the square footage of the house, the age of the last paint job, the shape and material on the walls. The client says, “I don’t know the answers to all those questions”. Prudent suggests that the client put together the answers and only then can he give a quote.
If the client goes with Dufus, the first painter, it might be that the job is a $2,000 job. Dufus is desperate for money so he takes the job and the $1000 down. He paints a room and then asks for more money. Now Dufus and the Client are in a fight. The job never gets done and Client ends up having to hire someone else, or suing Dufus.
Alternatively, Dufus honors his agreement but paints the house so sloppily that a couple months later it needs to be redone correctly. Now the client has lost $1000 and is back to square one. It is a lot of yuck!
If the client listens to Prudent and gets the proper information to Prudent, Prudent might tell client it is a $2,000 job. Client can prepare for the expense and if Prudent is like my firm, client can do a payment plan.
With a painter like Prudent, the client can sleep well at night knowing that everything will be done properly. Why? Because he is thoughtful. He thinks things through and does things carefully and sensibly. He is not desperate; he is quality. That is the type of person a client should hire.
Waltzer Law Group is like Prudent. We are fair and reasonable. We are not scrambling for the next dollar. We have to be careful because being careful is the only way to prevent misunderstandings and miscommunication. When we tell you a price, you can rest assured that that price is all you will ever pay. We don’t play games or bait and switch with our clients. We take pride in doing great work with honor.
We typically don’t quote people for complicated cases over the phone. We also don’t advertise pricing because it would be irresponsible to do that. Why? Because we need to really look at your situation closely to know just what is involved in your case. Though fees for a simple chapter 7 bankruptcy with a good lawyer are around $1300 to $2800, there are additional things to consider that could impact the cost. Consider the extra work that goes into cases for clients with houses, cars, high income, recent debt, tax debt, businesses, inheritance, recent transfers, recent payments to people and many other factors that make a simple-looking case much more complex.
Waltzer Law Group provides the following services to individuals, corporations, LLCs, partnerships and all other entities: