Chapter 13 attorneys’ fees are set by the court in something called a model retention agreement. In the state of Illinois, the fee that an Illinois bankruptcy attorney can charge as a flat rate is $3500. Attorneys will handle these fees in different ways so there are bankruptcy options. Some attorneys will ask for a portion of the fees upfront and receive the rest of their fees as a portion of your Chapter 13 plan payment. But some attorneys will require the full $3500 before you file your case.
In terms of timing, the process of filing bankruptcy is a simple one and goes like this. Once you retain your attorney, they will pull your credit report and prepare a petition. It is about a 50 to 60 page legal document. They will send it out for you to sign and review. Once they have full documents from you and full payment, they will file the case with the court. Once they file the case with the court and the automatic stay goes into place, you will have a short court date, about 45 days after the date you filed. This is your341 Meeting of Creditors in which you will swear to the truth and accuracy of everything in your petition. After that, it will take about 60 days to discharge your case. That is essentially the bankruptcy basics of filing until discharge.
It is possible that the court can reject a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. The only way the court would reject your Chapter 7 bankruptcy is if you did not qualify for Chapter 7 because you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy within the last eight years or you did not pass the means test and the court finds your case to be an abuse. Also, creditors can object to the discharge of your bankruptcy for reasons such as fraud and they do have 30 days to do that. But as long as you tell your Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney all of the information before filing your bankruptcy, it should not be a problem.
Let’s move on to the documents needed file for Chapter 13. Generally, the documents required for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy are the same as Chapter 7. You are going to need proof of your income, typically represented by 60 days of pay stubs. Tax information; in Chapter 13 in Illinois, the trustees require four years of tax returns. You need a valid ID and Social Security card and a certificate of credit counseling. Chapter 13 debtors with car notes will require proof of insurance in order to keep the car. This information is required in all Illinois bankruptcy cases.