The calculation of attorneys’ fees in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases is quite different than in Chapter 7 cases, because Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases are more time involved than Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases.
Also, the Massachusetts Local Bankruptcy Rules REQUIRE Attorneys to bill hourly for Chapter 13 cases and expressly PROHIBIT FLAT FEES in Chapter 13 cases. Do not be misled by attorneys who would have you believe that flat fees are allowed in Chapter 13 cases because they absolutely are not.
Most attorneys will charge a standard Chapter 13 bankruptcy retainer fee of $3,500 for pre-confirmation and $500 for post-confirmation services because the Massachusetts Local Bankruptcy Rules permit these figures without an attorney needing to file a special itemized explanation of the attorney fees. This means that most attorneys in Massachusetts are probably charging clients a $4,000 legal fee retainer for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, but depending upon the amount of post-confirmation work that an attorney may be required to perform on any given case, that $4,000 figure can increase.
Be forewarned; we know with a high degree of certainty that there are some large “reputable” law firms in Massachusetts that are actively lying to their clients about attorneys’ fees in chapter 13 cases.
These firms mislead their clients into believing that they are handling their chapter 13 case for a flat-rate fee of $2,000 when all-the-while the law firm is sneaking an additional $2,000 attorneys’ fee into the Chapter 13 Plan (which the lawyer receives in the form of monthly Plan distributions paid directly from the Standing Chapter 13 Trustee) without the client knowing anything about it, and more importantly, without the client ever having agreed to it.
And remember, flat rate fees in Chapter 13 cases are prohibited, so you may get charged even more by these unscrupulous law firms.
For all Ch. 13 cases the Crossley Law Offices charges clients a full $4,000 legal fee retainer upfront. Yes, you might be paying more upfront with our office, but for the level of experienced bankruptcy lawyer on your side, our fee is a fair and reasonable fee to charge people who are suffering through a bad economy.
Don’t make a costly mistake. For a FREE bankruptcy consultation fill out the Free Evaluation form below, or call (508) 655-6085 today.