Would you want to be represented by an attorney who is not smart enough to get paid in advance? I do not take cases on an "I'll pay you later" basis because if I file their bankruptcy and they owe me money, then their debt to me is discharged along with all other debts subject to discharge.
I am not your attorney unless you and I have signed a retainer agreement. What I am saying is not legal advice. Do not act on this information without engaging my services, this is for consideration only.
This is possible in a sense. In many of the bankruptcy cases I handle, clients do not necessarily have the full fee available at once. These clients can pay in installments, and I keep those installments protected in a Lawyer's Trust Account, while I work on the petition in the case. Once the fee has been paid in full, the money is transferred from the trust account and used to pay the filing fee to the Court and the other expenses of the case. The petition cannot be filed until the fee is received in full. This is because, when you file a bankruptcy petition, any debts that you owe from before the filing are to be discharged - including the obligation to pay your attorney. So no attorney would ever file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case until the client had paid the entire fee.
Note that it is generally not possible to file "immediately" - that is, to properly prepare a petition for a bankruptcy filing takes a little bit of time and care. On the other hand, because bankruptcy can discharge any debts you owe, if you're pressured by creditors and certain that you're going to be filing, you can stop paying on accounts you owe for a time. Being in default won't matter once you file. You should consult in private with an attorney if this is your issue.
Please read the following notice:
Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and are not intended to constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or solicit business. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. Information not contained in these posts may create significant exceptions to the advice provided in any response. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation.
Bodzin Donnelly Mockrin & Slavin, LLP<br>
2029 SE Jefferson Street, Suite 101, Milwaukie, OR 97222<br>
A bankruptcy attorney can offer you a free consultation (many do).
A bankruptcy attorney can offer you payment plans (many do).
If my practice area (Central Florida) the US Trustee's office has objected to attorney's collecting fees post filing. So your attorney will need to be paid in full prior to filing.
In some cases, filing fees and the cost of the required counseling classes can be waived, or a payment plan for the filing fees can be entered into.
Filing a case "immediately" is not always a good idea. Once filed, a Chapter 7 case cannot be automatically dismissed by the Debtor. Filing a case can sometimes create more problems that it solves, if proper inquiry is not made prior to the filing of the Petition.
The best advice for you is to schedule a consultation with a competent local bankruptcy attorney.
Once your case is filed, any unpaid fees are discharged, or wiped out, along with all of your other general unsecured debts. This is why most attorneys won't file Chapter 7 until all fees have been paid. Those who do otherwise, depending on the state, may be violating the automatic stay, and can be sued.
The legal analysis of any situation depends on a variety of factors which cannot be properly represented or accounted for in a response to an on-line question. Any answer, discussion or information is intended as general information only, is not intended to serve as legal advice or as a substitute for legal counsel, and should not be relied upon in making any decision. If you have a question about a specific factual situation, you should contact an attorney directly.