Richmond, Indiana Lawyer for Bankruptcy Answers “What-If’s” – Part 3

July 22, 2012 2:21 am Published by

Even after 25 years of  helping tens of thousands of people file personal bankruptcy in Indiana and thousands more file small business bankruptcy in Indiana, there’s always something new to learn.  Whenever a Bankruptcy in Indiana reader poses a “What-if” question, I look to see if what they’ve asked about has ever really happened.  Usually, it has.

As you may imagine, a lot of phone calls come in to the Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices from all around central and southern Indiana. I know from experience that quite a number of these folks are calling because they desperately need to talk to a lawyer for bankruptcy in Indiana, but they have no idea how they’ll pay for legal help. (Of all the dozens and dozens of questions readers of ask, more than a third are some version of ”How much does bankruptcy cost?”

“Just because you are lacking in funds doesn’t mean you shouldn’t meet with a bankruptcy attorney,” says the website DSupra.  I couldn’t agree more. Yet, as puts it, “One of the most interesting aspects of a bankruptcy consult is the very honest and sincere statement, ‘I am filing for bankruptcy because I don’t have any money.  How do you think I can pay you?’”

Another irony is discussed by “Unlike a normal hourly attorney, a bankruptcy attorney in most circumstances must be paid up front, because otherwise they become a creditor and could not represent you.”

The cost of any legal case is going to depend on how complicated the case is. In fact, that’s why, for all of the years I’ve been in practice as one of only a dozen consumer bankruptcy specialists in our state, I’ve offered free consultations. That way, there’s the opportunity to discuss your case, evaluate it, and then quote a fee, so that you know exactly what to expect.

At the same time, bankruptcy attorneys do not have latitude to charge whatever they wish – they must stay within guidelines. For Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the fee set by the court (as of this writing), is $4,000, with an additional filing fee of $274, and a credit counseling fee, which is usually $20. For bankruptcy Chapter 7, the basic fee is $306, with the mandatory $20 credit counseling fee added to that.

There is no doubt that bankruptcy is expensive. But, without having it done right, it may turn out to be a lot more expensive.



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This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg

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