By definition, the presumptively reasonable attorney fee for a consumer Ch13 in the Central District is $4,000. However, most attorneys will charge a portion up front and expect the balance to be paid by the Ch13 Trustee out of your monthly Plan payments. That portion will depend on the probability of you making your Plan payments and the amounts.
Attorney fees in bankruptcy are regulated by the court. The law requires the fee to be "reasonable" and allows each judge to interpret and apply that term. In most courts there are "no look" fees where the court assumes a stated amount is reasonable. Shop around but do not expect much variation.
Law Office of Michael J. Primus
We are a debt relief agency and help people file for bankruptcy under the bankruptcy laws. We have offices in California only.
Most attorneys charge 4000 for individuals because that's the no look fee amount in the central district. This means that the Court will not challenge the reasonableness of those fees.
The downside is a bad lawyer (if you believe one can exist!) will do $4,000 worth of work then put you at the end of the line. Sometimes clients are ok with that, other times it means you have to start pressuring your lawyer to do stuff for you, but sometimes attorneys just eat the loss and do an amazing job (I do think many fall into this category).
We charge by the hour for example so it's not a fixed amount.
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I agree with Mr. Ferrell. The "no look" fees are reasonable. However, depending on your exact facts, higher fees may be reasonable too. It all depends on the issues involved in your Chapter 13 and whether motions or adversary proceedings are contemplated. Good luck.
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I typically charge $4,000.00 for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case for debtors who work for a company, and $4,500.00 for debtors who are self-employed, though complicated cases may involve additional fees. I typically ask my clients to pay me $2,000.00 before the filing of the Chapter 13 petition, with the balance of my legal fees being paid through the Chapter 13 plan. This allows my Chapter 13 clients to file bankruptcy and save their homes without having to pay me the entire legal fee before the filing of the bankruptcy petition. Regular wage earners who are able to make regular plan payments but do not have money for a retainer may qualify for my special no money down Chapter 13 plan. This lets my clients file Chapter 13 bankruptcy by paying only the court filing fee of $281.00 prior to filing bankruptcy. All legal fees are paid to me through the plan. This is an incredible deal.
I agree with Mr. Whitaker that the "no look" flat fee set by the Bankruqtcy Court for a consumer Chapter 13 rund aoound $4,000 - business cases will typically cost about $2,000 more. In most jurisdictions, the attorney can "opt out" of the flat fee if the case is more complicated and will file fee applications to have their fees approved by the court.
Nothing in this response should be construed as legal advice, or establishing an attorney-client relationship.