A bankruptcy attorney’s fees for the representation of a debtor are typically a flat fee in Chapter 13 bankruptcies. While these fees are not determined by the bankruptcy court, in some situations, court-approval may be required. Debtors and attorneys may freely negotiate a fee for representation in a bankruptcy case. When the payment of attorneys’ fees is due largely depends on whether a debtor files a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case.
In Chapter 13 cases, debtors may pay some or all attorney’s fees through the Chapter 13 repayment plan. This is negotiable between the bankruptcy debtor and his or her attorney. Most attorneys require some down payment before the case is filed with the remainder to be paid in the Chapter 13 plan.
Just about all of the federal districts have basic guideline fees that attorneys may charge for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. For average Chapter 13 cases, attorneys may not charge more than this guideline fee. Often, an attorney will charge a flat fee for the minimal necessary services for a case, and then charge an hourly fee for any extra services such as the drafting and filing of a response to a motion for relief from stay or adversary complaint.
Chapter 13 guideline fees vary by judicial district and are typically between $2,500 and $6,000. In the Eastern District of California, the maximum attorney’s fee in a Chapter 13 case is $4,000 in non-business cases and $6,000 in business cases. What this means is that a Chapter 13 debtor’s attorney may seek approval for fees up to these amounts.
If a Chapter 13 debtor’s attorney has filed an executed copy of the “Rights and Responsibilities of Chapter 13 Debtors and Their Attorneys,” but the initial fee is insufficient to fully compensate him or her for the legal services rendered, the attorney may apply for additional fees.
To learn more about the advantages of filing of a bankruptcy case, contact the experienced Sacramento metropolitan area/Northern California attorneys at the Montefalcon Law Offices. Contact us online or schedule a free consultation at any of our three conveniently located offices. Telephone our downtown Sacramento office at (916) 444 0440, our south Sacramento office at (916) 399-9944, or our Concord office at (925) 222-5929.