Many potential clients call and ask how much it costs to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in San Francisco. If you use an attorney, you will have to pay a bankruptcy filing fees of $274.00, plus other expenses like a credit counseling certificate.
In addition to expenses, you will need to pay your attorney a retainer fee. Depending on the attorney, they will require some percentage of an anticipated total legal fee paid before the case is filed; this is the retainer fee. Most experienced attorneys in the San Francisco Bay Area will require a relatively low retainer to get started. Unlike other areas of law, in bankruptcy, good legal help is available to almost everyone, thanks to the nature of the Chapter 13 process.
In our experience, clients with a basic case who have all of their documentation ready, and do not wait until the last minute to file, can file with an attorney fee retainer of $500.00-$900.00. Clients who do not have their documentation ready, or have waited until the last minute usually have to pay more so that their case can be expedited.
For the attorney to take the risk of offering a low retainer, they need to know if the client is likely to complete their bankruptcy plan, because the attorney gets compensated through the plan. If someone comes at the last minute, the attorney cannot know how likely the client is to complete the plan. The best thing to do is talk to an attorney once you know there is a problem. Then you have the time to get to know the attorney, and figure out the most reasonable and cost-effective solution.
If you are a responsible and well-meaning client, you can find an attorney to work with you to make the Chapter 13 process available to you if you meet the legal eligibility criteria. Most experienced attorneys would probably agree that they would rather have a responsible client who needs time to pay their fees than a bad client who can pay a bigger retainer.
Remember the retainer is the amount to be paid before the case is filed. At our office, if time allows, we will start working on a case for $200.00. The retainer can be broken up into installments.
If you have additional questions about our fees, contact our office by phone or by using the online form on this website - and we may schedule a free consultation. - honakerlegal
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Law Office of Jason Honaker