Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney Fees Explained

There is a large difference in the attorney fees charged for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in the Portland and Vancouver area, which can be a bit confusing. There are a variety of reasons why legal fee quotes differ throughout the area, but what I often tell potential clients looking for inexpensive quotes is the old saying: “You get what you pay for!” Less experienced attorneys, attorneys who dabble in bankruptcy, or bankruptcy firms that are essentially mills pumping out clients like cattle without ever actually speaking with an attorney, tend to charge a bit less. Unfortunately, despite best efforts, this type of representation can result in unnecessary complications, errors, and loss of assets and money.

 However, going with less experienced or attentive counsel is far better than some of the other alternatives available. Some people opt for the cheap bankruptcy, and hire a paralegal or an online bankruptcy preparation service. Not only are these services ineffective, most often they are dangerous to your case and illegal. Any person not licensed to practice law that offers legal advice commits a crime, and it is nearly impossible for a person to assist a debtor in the preparation of their petition without offering legal advice. Online bankruptcy preparing programs are ineffective, and often illegal, because they use outdated forms and laws. The use of a bankruptcy preparer that is not a licensed attorney will likely cost far more in the long run, and is not worth the initial savings.

 A final pitfall for people looking to save money when filing bankruptcy is to simply file the case by themselves. It is possible to file a bankruptcy case on your own, but the high risk of unnecessarily losing assets and money or having your case dismissed is not worth it. Anyone can file a bankruptcy case, just like anyone can replace an engine or perform reconstructive foot surgery. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. It is far better to leave important, life altering matters to experienced and licensed professionals.

 It should be apparent at this point that a person considering bankruptcy should do their homework, and choose legal representation carefully. When considering bankruptcy representation, you should ask several questions of the person you’re thinking of hiring: How long has this person been representing people in bankruptcy? How many cases have they filed? Do they practice other areas of law, or is bankruptcy all they practice? Do they receive high reviews from clients, attorneys, and impartial sites like Avvo.com?

We only practice bankruptcy, and have successfully filed thousands of bankruptcy cases. Our fees are based on a case by case basis, and it is a flat fee. This means we will handle your bankruptcy case from start to finish for a set amount, with a free consultation. There are a several factors that can impact the fee amount, such as the complexity of the case, the amount of planning that must take place, the amount of debt and assets, etc. No matter what factors impact the fee, it will always be reasonable and competitive.

 Those that are concerned about the price often say: “if I had that much, I would just pay my debt!” However, we would never quote anyone an amount that is even a significant percentage of their total debt. We do not force every person that walks in the door into bankruptcy, if it is not in their best interest. If we don’t think you need to file, we’ll tell you.

 We offer compassionate, competent, and experienced representation, with a focus on customer service and ease of mind. Unlike some firms, even after your case is done, and you have a question years later, you can call our firm and have your questions answered without receiving a bill in the mail. You can always talk to an attorney, and the same attorney you meet with will be there for you from start to finish. To schedule a free consultation call 503-352-3690 or visit our website.