Are you considering New York bankruptcy, but uncertain how you can pay for court fees and a New York bankruptcy lawyer? At the Law Offices of Michelle Labayen, we understandably receive a lot of questions about payment plans, court costs, and general expenses related to filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. So many of our clients are struggling to pay monthly expenses and rent, which makes the idea of hiring a bankruptcy lawyer seem absurd.
In this blog post, we dive into some of the most common questions about the costs of a New York bankruptcy and what you need to know before hiring a lawyer.
#1: What Are the Court Costs to File for Bankruptcy?
The two most common types of individual bankruptcy are under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. The costs for filing bankruptcy in New York differ depending on what type of bankruptcy you want or need. Currently, it is $335 to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 and $310 to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 13.
You are required to pay these costs at the time to you file your bankruptcy petition with the federal bankruptcy court. A bankruptcy court won’t hear your case or accept your filing without payment of these fees. Often, a bankruptcy attorney will prepay these fees on your behalf and expect repayment as part of your monthly or regular invoice.
#2: What Does It Cost to Hire a Bankruptcy Lawyer?
The average bankruptcy in New York costs between $500 and $6,000 in attorney fees. What makes this such a wide range of possible expenses just for hiring a lawyer? First, it costs more to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy because the timeframe for finalizing these bankruptcies is much longer. As well, every New York bankruptcy is different.
At the Law Offices of Michelle Labayen, we have handled straightforward Chapter 7 bankruptcies that only last a few months and complex bankruptcy petitions that take several months to prepare, file, and adjudicate in the court. Your attorney fees are tied to the duration and complexity of your bankruptcy case and it is impossible to determine an amount before understanding your financial circumstances. What we do promise at our New Your bankruptcy law firm is to remain aware of the costs associated with bankruptcy and do our best to keep your fees low.
#3: How Do I Pay for a New York Bankruptcy Lawyer
Covering your attorney fees is far easier when you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in New York. Part of every Chapter 13 bankruptcy is creating a repayment plan, where your debts are reorganized and a schedule for repayment decided. Paying the legal fees for your New York bankruptcy can be part of this repayment plan, so you aren’t required to pay the entire amount upfront.
Legal fees for Chapter 7 bankruptcy are trickier, both for a bankruptcy lawyer to assess and client to pay. Often, it is necessary to pay your attorney fees upfront. When you are already facing financial obligations and outstanding debt, this can seem like a major imposition, but navigating Chapter 7 bankruptcy alone is complicated and stressful. A misstep in process or procedure could result in your bankruptcy case dismissed by the court, whereas a New York bankruptcy lawyer will ensure your case progresses smoothly, on time, and properly.
#4: How Can I Find a Cost-Effective Lawyer?
You want to learn a lot about a lawyer before you engage him or her for your case. You should ask questions about the lawyer’s prior experience, successful cases, and approach to New York bankruptcies. You also want to do outside research by looking at reviews, online testimonials, and ratings. This will all give you a clear picture of a lawyer’s practice and fit for your case, but there is really only one way to learn what a bankruptcy lawyer will cost – ask.
It is appropriate to discuss legal fees, expenses, and other costs in your initial consultation with a New York bankruptcy lawyer. You can ask questions about hourly rates, payment schedules, and billing. In fact, you should ask all of these questions and receive straightforward, clear answers from your lawyer.
At the Law Offices of Michelle Labayen, we are happy to discuss our fees and your bankruptcy costs before beginning on your case. We want you to understand the obligations of New York bankruptcy, as well as, the beneficial outcomes. Contact us today to learn more.