Having represented several thousand clients in bankruptcy cases over the past twenty-three years, I understand that you probably do not have a lot of money set aside for legal fees. In fact, it has been my experience that most of my clients are honest, hardworking people who have finally come to the realization that they have no choice but to file for bankruptcy. . . and further, that most people thinking about filing for bankruptcy are short of cash.
Our law firm understands this issue and we are committed to working with you to help you obtain quality representation at a fair price. At the same time, we are not a high volume “bankruptcy mill” law firm that files hundreds of cases per month. We do not charge as much as downtown law firms but we also do not file “no money down” cases.
The fees I charge at Ginsberg Law Offices are substantially less than the many thousands of dollars you would pay at an expensive downtown law firm. My fees are slightly more than what you might pay at a high volume “bankruptcy mill” firm that files hundreds of cases a month and turns responsibility of your case over to a legal assistant or a beginning lawyer with only weeks or months of experience. Our firm usually files 10 to 15 cases per month and we think that we provide better service that high volume “bankruptcy mill” firms that file 100, 200 or more cases per month. The cost of your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case will depend on a variety of factors including:
- whether this is your first, second or subsequent filing
- whether you have recently incurred debt to taken any action that could result in a creditor or trustee objection
- how many creditors you owe and whether you owe creditors who frequently challenge bankruptcy cases
- whether you need an emergency filing
At my firm, you will meet with attorney Susan Blum or me. Susan and I are the only lawyers here who handle bankruptcy and one or both of us will personally prepare your case and remain available to you by phone or e-mail to answer your questions – you will not be shuffled off to a paralegal. We will meet prior to your actual hearing to practice and prepare you for the questions that will be asked. At your first hearing (meeting of creditors) you will not face the unpleasant situation of wandering around the three chaotic courtrooms looking for your lawyer. You will not face the embarrassment of having an overworked, inexperienced lawyer shout out your name in open court to find you. And after your hearing, Susan or I will sit down with you to explain what has happened and what steps, if any, we must take to finalize your case. Before you leave, we will hand you a written checklist itemizing any further action that we must take, and we will personally follow-up with you by e-mail or phone to resolve any remaining issues.
Chapter 7 Fees and Costs
Chapter 7 – the court filing fee for Chapter 7 is $306 – this is paid to the clerk of Bankruptcy Court at the time we file your case. Attorney’s fees will range between $1,500 and $25,000 depending on the complexity of your case. Factors that may result in a higher fee include:
- judgment liens
- extremely high (over $75,000) credit card debt
- recent credit card use
- recent transfers of property that could give rise to challenges
- tax issues that impact your filing
Chapter 13 Fees and Costs
Chapter 13 – the court filing fee is $281 – this is paid to the clerk of Bankruptcy Court at the time we file your case. Attorney’s fees in Chapter 13 cases may be paid over time within your Chapter 13 plan. We usually require around $600 up front, with the balance of $3,900 paid in your plan.We do not charge for telephone consultations, which include a review of your financial situation and advice about how to proceed. We do charge for in-office meetings – usually around $250 – because of the time we spend calculating the “means test” and reviewing your options. This $250does count towards the attorney fee paid in your case.