October 5, 2016

The True Cost of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Important Questions When Deciding What Attorney to Hire.

One of the issues that can arise when considering a bankruptcy is how you can afford it.  It can understandably be frustrating to meet with a Bankruptcy attorney, discuss your financial difficulties, and then hear that the attorney now wants money from you in order to file the case.  How much a specific bankruptcy costs often varies on the difficulty and complexity of the case.  After meeting with one of our attorneys for a risk free initial consultation, we will provide you with a specific quote for filing a bankruptcy proceeding.  This article is intended to address the process of deciding what attorney to hire, and questions you might have when you see an advertisement or sign promising a one size fits all “low cost” bankruptcy filing.    

The cost of bankruptcy is understandably an important part of deciding who to hire.  However, the true cost of a bankruptcy can sometimes be more than initially understood.  The old adage of, “You get what you pay for,” stands true here.  In many cases, the true cost of hiring a “cheap” attorney is significantly greater by the time the process is completed.  As with any service provided by a professional , you want to do your homework on the qualifications of an attorney who may only charge you $900 to file a bankruptcy proceeding.  Any sign on the side of the road or advertisement promising a one cost rate for every case should give you some pause.  No two cases are exactly alike.  Bankruptcy is not a one size fits all process.  It is important for your attorney to understand and consider what will actually be required in a case based on your specific circumstances, so that they will be there with you through the entire process, and is not solely interested in getting your papers filed and then doing as little as possible should any future issues arise.  Your attorneys should be engaged to help you navigate what can often be a complicated process through the entirety of the proceeding.  At Keller & Almassian, PLC, 3 of the bankruptcy attorneys in our office are Board Certified in consumer bankruptcy.  This means the attorneys have taken additional tests to receive that Certification.  This means these attorneys are dedicated to bankruptcy and in particular, dedicated to YOUR case and assisting you in successfully completing your case to obtain a discharge of your debts.

Additionally, it is important to always read the fine print on any fee agreement you may sign with an attorney.  The agreement will sometimes detail that additional money will be required for assistance with other steps in the bankruptcy that arise after filing, such as a reaffirmation agreement for your car or home.   These “hidden” costs can make the low quote you initially received result in a much higher cost by the time your case is completed.  We do not do that here.  We will tell you the cost of your case when we meet with you.  If your case is more complicated, we will tell you up front of any risks of filing a bankruptcy proceeding and quote an appropriate and fair fee.  If there are potential issues that could arise, we will let you know and tell you what it could likely cost if those issues did arise. 

At Keller & Almassian, PLC, you are not just another file to be pushed through the system with as little work as possible. You are OUR client and we want you to succeed and thrive after your bankruptcy is filed.  When considering the cost of a bankruptcy, it is important to think about the real cost of hiring a cheap attorney, and what it is you might be saving.  Please contact us if you would like to meet or discuss your situation and options.

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