If you are going with an attorney to file Bankruptcy and decide (before the paperwork is filed with the courts)

Asked over 3 years ago - Indianapolis, IN

that you do not wish to continue filing Bankruptcy can the attorney switch from charging you a flat fee to do your bankruptcy to hourly? (We had paid in $600 and were told that no money would be returned as it was the cost of his time. We had one meeting that lasted about an hour and a few e-mails back and forth.)

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Seth R. Buitendorp

    Contributor Level 6

    Answered . The amount the attorney charges and the amount owed is really determined by the attorney-client fee agreement. Some agreements state that if you decide not the file the case the attorney may be able to charge you for his hourly work. You really need to review the attorney-client fee agreement.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Indiana. Responses are based solely on Indiana law unless stated otherwise.

  2. Steven Alan Fink

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . If flat fee was more than $600 it is fair to only pay him $600. If flat fee less than $600 he owes you a refund. In addition to your meeting and e-mails, he may have started paperwork for filing, researched a pertinent issue, or performed other services.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.

  3. Mitchell Paul Goldstein

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . It all depends on the retainer agreement (the contract you had with the attorney). Attorneys do lots of work to prepare for filing a petition. The attorney should get paid for the work done.

    [I am a Virginia-licensed attorney. This communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.]

    I hope this helps. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below. Thank you!

  4. Dorothy G Bunce

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . When you hire an attorney, the fee for services can be either on a flat fee basis or on an hourly basis. If you change your mind, the attorney should bill you for the time & expenses of the work performed in your case & refund any difference to you.

    Although you may not be aware of it, the attorney may have ordered your credit report & prepared preliminary documents to analyze your income & to set up your bankruptcy file. These activities can take a lot more time than you may realize.

    Hope this explanation helps & good luck!

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