Fees in Bankruptcy Are Not the Important Part of Finding a Lawyer

Many people are surprised to learn that the Bankruptcy Court closely supervises Attorney Fees for Debtors in Bankruptcy cases. Fees in all Bankruptcy cases are subject to disclosure to the court and may be allowed or disallowed based on statutory tests for reasonableness. In Chapter 13 cases, Attorneys most often set fees at whatever number the local Bankruptcy Court has set as the standard fixed fee for Chapter 13 cases in the District. However, attorneys are allowed to charge less than the standard fixed fees. They are not, however, allowed to give less than competent complete services.

Fees in Chapter 7 cases may follow a local standard fee, or they may be subject to the general standard of reasonableness. But, in any event, the Court and the Trustee will securitize them. The system is designed to make sure that Debtors have good competent attorneys representing them but that neither Debtors nor their creditors are subject to unreasonable loss due to an attorney overcharging.

When shopping for a Bankruptcy Attorney the fee should not be a primary factor in your choice of attorney. Asking the attorney if they charge a fee that is allowed in the District should answer your most fundamental fee concerns. Getting to know the Attorney, asking about qualifications, certifications, and experience as well as being able to effectively communicate with your attorney should be the primary reasons for selecting a Bankruptcy Attorney.

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