I'm in Utah and am going to be filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I don't have much money for a lawyer, and would like to know how much I can expect in lawyer fees. If I go with the cheapest lawyer I can find, am I likely to be okay?
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Prices for bankruptcy service vary wildly depending on who you call. Some will be over $1000 some will be $700 and some less. Keep in mind that there is a $306 filing fee associated with filing chapter 7 as well as two classes you need to take. You will probably be fine going with an attorney that charges lesser fees but I would strongly discourage you from contacting a person who is not a licensed attorney. If you would like a free consultation I would be happy to give you one. You can call me at (801) 332-9655 or www.ipsonlaw.com.
The cheapest cut of meat is the toughest. The cheapest brand of paint won't cover and peels shortly after you paint. Lawyers are the same: the cheapest will certainly not be the best. Your case is not nearly as simple as you think it is. You can review the attorney profiles here on Avvo, and you can ask around your community. Dont' forget that someone has to pay for all the ads some lawyers run. Wouldn't you rather pay for legal acumen?
Mr. Oney is right. You get what you pay for. Bankruptcy attorneys either try to get high volume with lower fees, or because they have dedicated themselves to providing the highest value of representation, need to charge you a bit more, but provide you with QUALITY. No two bankruptcies are alike, and it takes someone who meets with you personally to determine how YOUR case needs to be handled. High volume filers tend to believe your case is just like any other.
While I agree that you should be sure to pay more for an actual attorney who files bankruptcies regularly rather than a petition preparer or a lawyer who dabbles in bankruptcy, I do not agree that the least expensive is less qualified than the most expensive. However, many of us offer free consultations, so I suggest you meet with a few different bankruptcy lawyers to see who makes you feel most comfortable. We all have distinctive qualities and traits that may or may not be important to you. But the difference in fees is insignificant compared to your piece of mind.