Potential bankruptcy clients typically ask, “What’s this going to cost me to do a bankruptcy claim?” The answer can never be readily given out over the telephone without knowing the details. Here are the basics when it comes to fees. At the time of this writing, there are some fixed costs. For example, for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, it’s pretty simple. A Chapter 13 is a standard $3,500.00 plus the court costs. That $3,500.00 will be paid partially through the Chapter 13 plan. Thus, a Chapter 13 is generally (in this district) $3,500.00. For Chapter 7, the fees vary greatly, and the reason being is for the complexity of the case of a Chapter 7. For instance, if it’s a very simple Chapter 7 with no assets, not a lot of debt that could be questionable for discharge, we can do a very low fee.
Keep in mind that the attorney’s fees are separate from the court costs. At the time of this writing, court costs are $306.00 for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. If you are seeking to claim bankruptcy and the case is much more difficult, the fee will increase. For a more complex case where there’s actual assets that will be liquidated and distributed by the trustee – for instance, if you have two or three cars with a lot of equity or you have a lot of money in your bank accounts or you’re receiving a lot of income – I’m sorry, not income but receiving inheritance or receiving income from a lawsuit, such as a personal injury suit or things of that nature, those can be a little more complex and a little more work involved. In those circumstances, those Chapter 7s would be on a higher attorney fee although the court cost would remain the same.
So it does vary, and it’s a case-by-case scenario, and we can’t promise any one fee. It’s case by case. We do need to see the potential client’s case and figure out how complex the case may be. Once a quote is given, the rate is flat. That’s why we have to see the client and then estimate how much time it would take for the bankruptcy to complete and to what extent the Chicago bankruptcy lawyer would be working on the file. There is always a written contract and all clients are given a copy of David M. Siegel’s book, Chapter 7 Success: The Complete Guide To Surviving Personal Bankruptcy. That book has helped thousands of people get out of debt with success.