I am often asked as a Glenview bankruptcy attorney, how long do bankruptcy cases last? Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases can last anywhere from 3 to 5 years. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case can last anywhere from 3 to 4 months. As you can see, there’s a huge difference between the timing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case and the timing of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. For that reason, the pricing for attorneys’ fees is going to differ. Chapter 7 is going to be a much cheaper bankruptcy case. There is much less work to do in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, and the time to complete the case is very short. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, there is plenty to do, the timeframe is long, and thus the courts have approved a higher attorney fee. It makes sense that if your case is going to last three to five years that your bankruptcy lawyer should be paid more than a case that is going to last four months.
If you are thinking of filing either Chapter 13 bankruptcy or Chapter 7 bankruptcy, I recommend that you meet with at least 3 bankruptcy attorneys in your local area. When you meet with the bankruptcy attorney, make sure that you ask specific questions. The answers that you are given to your questions are going to be your litmus test to determine whether or not that attorney is the right attorney to handle your case. You can also learn a lot about the attorney by how his office is managed. For example, when you appear at his office, are you the only one there, or does he have a full staff working Illinois bankruptcy cases? When you meet with the attorney, is he well presented? Does he speak intelligently? Does he make you feel comfortable? Does he answer your questions fully? These are the type of things that you want to look for when you hire a bankruptcy attorney.
You want to make sure that that bankruptcy attorney has experience. You want to make sure that that bankruptcy can provide referrals. You want to make sure that that bankruptcy attorney can explain to you in detail the difference between Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You want the attorney to explain to you why you qualify for one chapter or the other and whether or not your case is going to be complex or simple. You also want to know if there’s going to be any debts that are presumed to be non-dischargeable, such as student loans, recent taxes, parking tickets, child support, alimony, or debts incurred by driving while intoxicated. You want to leave the office feeling good about the bankruptcy process. You want to leave the office feeling that all of your questions were answered.