Cheap Bankruptcy Attorneys Are Problematic.
Bankruptcy attorneys are in the business of making sure you get out of debt, but that doesn’t mean it is cheap. Cheap bankruptcy attorneys may be willing to skip following the rules or not do a good job for you. You need someone who will file for bankruptcy on your behalf, and with these tips can save you money rather than trying to do it yourself.
The first thing you should do is find a bankruptcy attorney who has been around for a while and knows what they are doing. This way, you won’t have to worry about them not knowing the law or making mistakes that could cost you thousands of dollars in fees. If the lawyer is new, try to get references from people who have used the services before. If there are no references, then talk with people who practice law in your area to see if they would recommend someone.
When you choose a cheap bankruptcy attorney or bankruptcy mill, you will want to know what sort of experience they have filed for bankruptcies and what kinds of cases they handle the best. Will they be able to make sure you retain your assets or fight for the best possible outcome for your debts?
Don’t Be Fooled – Ask The Cheap Bankruptcy Attorney Questions
- Ask if it includes more than just filing your bankruptcy petition;
- Ask if it covers the attorney talking with your creditors to inform them of your decision to file for bankruptcy;
- Ask them if they will be there when you attend your meeting of creditors;
- Ask them to show you the last 5 Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases to show if they billed the advertised price;
- Ask the bankruptcy attorney if they will negotiation the reaffirmation agreement and be there for you.
If any of the answers to the above leave you with a less than desired outcome. Then you may want to shop elsewhere. These are clear signs that you are not getting an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
Bankruptcy mills are a type of cheap bankruptcy attorney that charge less than they should, and offer little support during your case. The person filing will prepare the paperwork and then file it with the court on your behalf. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as a good lawyer may charge extra to do it.
The difference is that the cheap bankruptcy attorney or bankruptcy mill will often cut corners on your case. They may not take all the steps they are supposed to in order to ensure you get out of debt as easily and painlessly as possible. For example, if you have assets they should be liquidated and used for your creditors. A cheep bankruptcy attorney or bankruptcy mill may skip this step, leaving assets that can be taken in order to pay them.
This is not the only way a cheap bankruptcy lawyer will hurt you, though. They may miss filings deadlines or leave out details that could cost you time and money later on. A lawyer who is only in the business of filing bankruptcy for as little as possible may not be motivated to fight for your rights or get you what you need.
Chapter 7 Cheap Bankruptcy Attorneys
One way that many people try to save money on a bankruptcy attorney is by filing for chapter 7. Since there are no wage garnishments in this type of bankruptcy case, some people think they can get away with cheap bankruptcy lawyers who will charge them less and not do as good a job.
When you file a chapter 7, your lawyer is supposed to go over your assets with you, liquidate them as needed and make sure that the right parties receive the proceeds. If your lawyer or their cheap bankruptcy attorneys skip this step, then you could end up losing money to creditors who are no longer paying for your debts.
The other aspect of a chapter 7 is ensuring that there are no non-dischargeable debts. This means that you are supposed to contact your creditors and make sure they know that the debt will not be paid back because all of your assets have been taken by the bankruptcy trustee. A lawyer or a cheap bankruptcy attorney who does not do this could leave some money on the table for your creditors.
Chapter 13 Cheap Bankruptcy Attorneys
Chapter 13 bankruptcy works a lot like chapter 7, except that instead of liquidating your assets to pay off debts you will have to come up with a plan for paying everything back over time. The biggest difference is that you do not get rid of all of your debts thanks to the payment plan. Because of this, there should be no reason to go with a cheap chapter 13 attorney who will avoid paying your creditors as much as possible.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is considered more complex than chapter 7, and requires at least some knowledge of the law. An experienced lawyer or their staff should be able to explain all the details of this process so that you can make an informed decision about whether to file.
If you cannot afford a lawyer who is experienced in filing chapter 13 cases, then try to find someone who has handled them before for clients. This way, they can explain how the process works and why it is important to make sure that your creditors receive their money back over time rather than all at once. Cheap bankruptcy attorneys or bankruptcy mills may not take the time to explain this and could leave your assets unprotected which would cost you money in the long run.
Bankruptcy Mill Tactics and Finding A Cheap Bankruptcy Attorney
One of the worst things about bankruptcy mills is that some of them will prey on vulnerable people. They know that if they can hook someone in, then they are more likely to get them to file and pay their fees. Some may even charge an upfront fee, which can be paid with a credit card.
The only problem is that this money is gone and there is no guarantee that they will file. Even if the cheap bankruptcy attorney or bankruptcy mill does, then there is still a good chance that your case could be dismissed because of mistakes or lack of knowledge about bankruptcy laws.
An experienced lawyer who has filed many cases should not charge you an upfront fee under any circumstances. These types of mills will be less likely to overcharge you or file a case that does not make sense for your situation. In fact, some of the more reputable bankruptcy lawyers will only charge you if they actually succeed in filing for bankruptcy on your behalf.
A cheap lawyer from a bankruptcy mill may also fail to include all of the required information and forms with your initial filing. Some of these filings can be quite large, and could take up a lot of space on your computer if you were to try to file them yourself. However, some attorneys will want to charge you extra for sending the information over electronically or by mail since they know that it is much more convenient in this day and age.
In order to avoid this, only go with a reputable bankruptcy attorney or a bankruptcy mill that offers electronic filing at no extra charge. This will save you money in the long run, even if they do try to add some additional fees that may need to be paid upfront. The benefit of knowing that your forms were submitted correctly and without mistakes is well worth it since this can help avoid having your case dismissed by using a cheap bankruptcy attorney.
When we initially filed our bankruptcy papers and did not have a lawyer, the biggest problem that we ran into was how long they took to process everything on their end. We waited over six months before our case could even be reviewed, which is why I want to make sure that other people know about this when they consider filing on their own.
Obviously time is money, but the most frustrating thing about this process was that our creditors still charged us late fees while we were waiting for the case to go through. At least now they can only do this once, which should prevent some of these companies from taking advantage of people who are trying to get a fresh start.
This is why I highly recommend that you find a reputable bankruptcy attorney to help with the process vs a cheap bankruptcy attorney.
Check with your local bar association to see who is qualified and what they have to offer before settling on one or filing for bankruptcy on your own.
The $500 Bankruptcy Trap of The Cheap Bankruptcy Attorney
Another reason why I highly recommend a good bankruptcy attorney is because there are a lot of people who are filing for bankruptcy too often. If you file more than once within eight years, then you will be required to pay the debtor’s exam fee per case along with the court fees and professional fees that your attorney charges.
Many people fail to take into account the costs that they will have to pay if they file too often. This is one of the reasons why I want to make sure that you get a good attorney if you are going to file for bankruptcy.
There is no need to pay a good lawyer $2000 or more per case, but there is definitely a need to make sure that you don’t get taken advantage of by the people who run these mills where filing fees can seem quite low at first but end up costing you much more in the long run.
It is definitely true that you can find good lawyers who will charge much less than $2000, but they may not have the experience or customers to prove their value to you before agreeing to work with them on your case. This is why it makes sense to do some research and ask a lot of questions rather than getting taken advantage of.
One way to make sure that you don’t get taken advantage of is by filing for bankruptcy yourself. This can be done easily by downloading the forms and filling them out as needed. At first this seems like the perfect solution since it doesn’t cost you anything except some time, but you should seriously consider hiring a good attorney if you plan on filing for bankruptcy more than once within eight years.
The biggest problem with the forms that are given to you is that they are often filed incorrectly, which can definitely cost you money in the long run. As you probably know, if your case is dismissed then it will need to be re-filed and this will end up costing a lot of money.
Once your case has been filed, you will want to do some research and find out what the next steps are in the process. It is best if you gather all of your paperwork together before moving on to these next steps because you can be sure that at least one of the people from your creditors will show up for court date. This is something that most people don’t realize, but it is true.
The creditor’s lawyer usually does the job of representing your creditors in court while the trustee’s lawyer does the same for you and your attorney. This is how the judge knows whether or not there should be a dismissal of some sort, so make sure to gather all of your paperwork together if you want to avoid paying for a re-filing.
As you can see, there are many different reasons why hiring an attorney is the best way to go if you plan on filing for bankruptcy more than once within eight years. You may not need a $2000 lawyer, but it makes sense to get one with experience and good reviews.
Our Attorneys at Richard West Law Office, have well over 30 years of experience in filing bankruptcy for clients in the state of Ohio and we have filed over 30,000 cases in Dayton, Columbus, Akron, Cleveland, Huber Heights, and the surrounding areas. If you would like to find out more information, give us a call at (937) 748-1749 or get a free bankruptcy evaluation.