Phoenix, AZ asked in Bankruptcy for Arizona

Q: Do attorney fees need to be paid in full before they file for bankruptcy in order to stop garnishments?

I am currently with a bankruptcy legal team and fees will not be completed till November. I have been summoned to pay garnishments. I spoke with attorney and they stayed fee needs to be paid in full in order to file Chapter 13 until then can not give cease / desist on my garnished paycheck. Just would like 2nd opinion if this legal advice is accurate.

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5 Lawyer Answers
Stuart Nachbar
Stuart Nachbar
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Livingston, NJ

A: Some firms when dealing with a chapter 13 only, will allow fees through Chapter 13 Plan. This does not apply to Chapter 7. Ask them if you can put fees in Chapter 13 plan and if not, why.

David Luther Woodward agrees with this answer

David Luther Woodward
David Luther Woodward
Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Pensacola, FL

A: A new service is available in some locations from some lawyers called FRESH START FUNDING which provides for paying Chapter 7 fees in installments after filing. . Google FSF to see if there is a lawyer in your community who does

Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity
Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: Hello. When seeking to stop garnishments, there are generally two options for personal bankruptcies, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. You have to meet certain financial qualifications to file a Chapter 7, and maybe the attorney you spoke with already decided that you are not eligible, and would instead need to file for Chapter 13. (If Chapter 7 is an option, usually the fees and costs have to be paid up front, but you can get a payment plan on the fees through the court, and a few attorneys will offer a $0 down Chapter 7 approach.) As for a Chapter 13, many attorneys will allow you to pay some or sometimes even all of the fees through the monthly payments as part of the bankruptcy plan. If the attorney you spoke with will not do that, you might want to check with another attorney.

Finally, note that a "cease and desist" is a letter demanding certain relief. That's not generally what you need to stop a garnishment. Instead, you want the "automatic stay" that comes into effect when you file for bankruptcy. This is triggered simply by filing for bankruptcy, and then you or your attorney merely have to provide notice of the filing to the creditor and, in the case of a garnishment, the garnishee (likely your employer). Finally, be aware that you can sometimes recover funds that have already been garnished in the 90 days prior to your bankruptcy filing after you file.

Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison
Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Louisville, KY

A: Depends on your contract with the lawyer. If they require them or you agreed to pay them first, then yes. Atty fees may also be paid through the Chapter 13.

Jay Hall agrees with this answer

Jay Hall
Jay Hall
Answered
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: It is up to the individual firm. Many bankruptcy firms will not file your petition until your fee is paid in full. Others do file earlier, but usually those firms ultimately make you pay larger fees after filing.

Depending on what you've paid your current firm, you may consider moving your bankruptcy to a different firm that will file now to protect you from losing additional funds to garnishment.

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