Resources

How Much does a Bankruptcy Cost and How do I pay the Attorney?

Your initial appointment is offered for no fee. To make the most of the limited time available (generally around a half-hour), there will be little, if any, discussion of fees during your appointment. The information contained here is an effort to familiarize you with the basic fee structure of Dolen, Tucker, Tierney & Abraham. In many cases, it is NOT necessary to pay the fees in full prior to filing. We offer payment options including the ability to make monthly payments by ACH debit or debit card withdrawals from your checking account. Specific fee payment arrangements in your case will be by written into your fee agreement following your initial consultation. Payments may be made by cash, personal e-check, debit card, or certified funds. All payments made are non-refundable.

The enactment of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), significantly restricted eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It now takes a considerable amount of time and effort to determine whether or not you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and then further demonstrate that to the Court.

The most common question I am asked after explaining to family and friends that I am a consumer bankruptcy attorney is "If your clients are filing bankruptcy, how do you get paid?". You may be wondering the same thing. The fee is not based on how much debt is being discharged.  But it is useful to know that the debt being discharged is usually well over 10 times the amount of the fee.

Your case will generally fall into one of the following case types:
In Chapter 13, you are in bankruptcy for 3 to 5 years. Chapter 7 with exempt assets only is about 4-6 months.

Case Type III (Simple): 

  • No income or fixed income - No Means Test required 
  • No real estate
  • 1 car loan 
  • Little or no personal property 
  • Unmarried or married filing jointly 
  • Small total debt/all medical debt/limited number of creditors (Under 10) 
  • No garnishments, lawsuits, or judgment issues 
  • Taxes up-to-date and compliant

CHAPTER 7 - FEE WILL RANGE FROM $1499 to $1799

Case Type II (Semi-Complex): 

  • W2 income below median income - No Means Test required 
  • Small business owner or Self-employed 
  • Real Estate and/or automobile loans or leases to be reaffirmed, redeemed, surrendered, or assumed 
  • Married filing individually 
  • Non-exempt assets 
  • Dischargeability issues 
  • Unfiled tax returns/Non-compliant 
  • Identity and/or residency issues 
  • Divorce/Separation 

CHAPTER 7 - FEE WILL RANGE FROM $1699 TO $1999

CHAPTER 13 – FEE WILL RANGE FROM $5,000 TO $6,000 much of which is paid over 36 – 60 months in the Plan.

Case Type I (Complex): 

  • W2 income above median income - Means Test required 
  • Small business owner or Self-employed 
  • Commercial leases and/or vendor accounts 
  • Real Estate and/or automobile loans or leases to be reaffirmed, redeemed, surrendered, or assumed
  • Mortgage or car payments are in default 
  • Married filing individually 
  • Significant non-exempt assets 
  • Large unsecured debt amounts 
  • Dischargeability issues 
  • Cross collateralization issues 
  • Co-debtor issues 
  • Lien avoidances on home and/or personal property 
  • Significant pre-petition planning (over three (3) months) 
  • Unfiled tax returns/Non-compliant 
  • Identity and/or residency issues 
  • Divorce/separation 

CHAPTER 7 - FEE WILL RANGE FROM $1799 TO $2599

CHAPTER 13 – FEE WILL RANGE FROM $5,000 TO $6,000 much of which is paid over 36 – 60 months in the Plan.

In addition to the attorney fees, there is a filing fee to the Court as well as a fee for mandatory credit counseling required by BAPCPA to be conducted prior to filing and prior to Discharge.