When you’re broke and you’re thinking about filing bankruptcy finding a good price is something that’s definitely on your mind. In fact, cheaper looks good. If some lawyer is willing to do my bankruptcy for $500 why should I pay someone else $1,000 or $1,500? You may think you’re getting a deal but like answers to many questions in the law, what you’re getting may not always be best for you.
The Costs of Bankruptcy depends on your facts
Whether you need to file bankruptcy now, later or not at all depends on how your personal financial situation fits into the protections provided by the bankruptcy code. Our attorneys, during your free consultation, will gather these facts and analyze your situation so that we can figure out how to best help you using the existing bankruptcy laws. If your bankruptcy lawyer doesn’t look in the right places, know what rocks to turn over or isn’t completely familiar with the bankruptcy code, you’ll probably his some pretty big snags in your case. With the caveat that there is no direct and sure-fire connection between cost and quality, let’s talk about how much it should cost you to get back on the road to financial prosperity.
How to figure what you should pay
- The person charging the least is probably not for you. Chances are, they’re new or they are dabbling in a very complicated section of the code. Maybe they’re trying to upsell you another product and they’re farming out the actual work of the bankruptcy to someone who knows even less than they do. Additionally, do you really want the cheapest guy in town advising you about your finances. As with everything in life, you get what you pay for.
- The more you’ve got, the more protection you’ll need.
If you have substantial assets, it more than likely that you’re going to have to pay more for a bankruptcy attorney. If you’re filing to save your house or stop big money lawsuits, you need to call in the big guns. You don’t need to hire someone who occasionally files a bankruptcy for buddies or someone who is fresh out of law school. It’s one thing to just discharge old credit card debt, but when real money’s on the line, you don’t want to go cut rate.
- If you’re involved financially with lots of people, you’re going to need a good lawyer.
Do you have business partners? Do you own property with someone else? Have you set aside a chunk of change for your kids? All of these situations can fall under specialized parts of the bankruptcy code that most people who only do bankruptcy part time don’t know about.
- Who is coming after you for money?
If you’re up against the big boys like the IRS, Child Support collections, wealthy ex business partners or investors or an angry, well funded ex spouse you better lawyer up in a big way. The stronger your opposition, the more money they have to investigate you and dig through your life for money they can recover.
What should you actually get for your money?
When you choose a bankruptcy lawyer you need to look for someone who is familiar with the law and has the skills to see how the law applies to your individual case. The more you pay, the more likely you are to feel entitled to access to the attorney and their responsiveness to you, no matter how crazy your question sounds or how frequently you need questions answered. Price alone isn’t always indicative of good customer service. In fact, some of the most expensive lawyers in the area are the most likely to farm your work out to others. On the opposite end though, low fees don’t usually leave room for the attorney to develop interpersonal relationships and give you excellent customer service.
So, how much should I actually pay?
At the risk of sounding cliche, it all depends on your situation. It can depend on the cost of living where you are, legal fees just cost more in Atlanta than they do in Newnan. It also depends on your individual circumstances. If you have easy debts like credit cards, if you’re a W-2 employee or if you don’t have a ton of assets, you’ll usually find that your bankruptcy will cost less. Another thing to consider is the legal market where you are. Be prepared to meet with several lawyers. The best Bankruptcy attorneys in the area offer free consultations. You should meet with at least two bankruptcy attorneys before you decide which attorney should represent you. Finally, be prepared to reject law firms that don’t speak with you candidly and offer you up front pricing and fees. You should also feel comfortable with your attorney and quiz them about their experience.
Finally, just because someone charges the most doesn’t mean they’re the best. It just means they charge the most.
If you find yourself needing quality representation, I hope you’ll give our attorneys a chance to earn your business. Contact us today to schedule a free, no pressure, consultation to determine how we can help get you back on the road to financial prosperity.