Q: We are thinking of filing bankruptcy, one lawyer wanted to charge $4k, how can I find a more affordable option to file?
Our combined debt is about $40K and we cannot afford to pay such a high price for a lawyer right now. We want to be able to buy a home in the near future, and are considering settling each debt individually or filing BK if that would be more affordable.
A: Shop around. There are many competitive prices available from qualified attorneys who offer free consultations.
A: I realize the cost of the living is higher in California, but that seems like a lot. Nevertheless, if you have a complex situation, such as running a business, this may be justifiable. The most logical solution is to seek out another lawyer or firm, or ask the attorney what justifies the fee. Even if they charged and hourly rate, I cannot fathom that any lawyer would charge more than $300 per hour for an average consumer bankruptcy. Again, I may not have all the facts and there may be difficulties and nuances unique to your case.
A: I suggest you contact other bankruptcy attorneys for an estimate. Some of us offer a half hour no charge phone consultation to briefly discuss the options your are considering and fees involved. Without knowing more details, the quoted amount does seem very high.
A: I agree with my colleagues. Though attorneys fees are higher here in California, a $4,000 attorney fee sounds a bit steep for a Chapter 7 filing; however, the cost may be justified given your circumstances. If the attorney is charging $4,000 for a Chapter 13 in California, the price can be considered reasonable.
I suggest getting additional quotes from other qualified California bankruptcy attorneys before making a decision. Good luck.
A: The best advice for most purchases is to get a few different quotes. You might have more issues than the average case or the quote you got was from a busy attorney who quotes high when busy. If you get the same (or similar) quotes from more than one attorney then I would say it involves your specific facts.
A: $4k for a Chapter 7 does sound a bit high considering it's $40k in debt. Cases can become more complicated depending on issues such as whether you are a business owner, etc. While it does sound a bit high, it also depends on the circumstances.
A: Are you filing chapter 7 bankruptcy or chapter 13 bankruptcy? Depending on the type of bankruptcy legal fees can fluctuate. For chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be able to find a more approachable price. I would suggest to call around. Also, you want to be sure you are comfortable working with your attorney as that can be something more important than price.
Best of luck!
A: That fee sounds like it is twice as much as your case should cost!
Here are links to two articles I have written which I know will help you alot:
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