AFFORDABLE CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY FEE
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There are two types of bankruptcy that individuals usually file. The one discussed here is Chapter 13; the other is Chapter 7.
What is Chapter 13?
Chapter 13 is a court-approved partial repayment of debts. The partial repayment happens through a plan, which lasts three to five years–depending on your applicable commitment period which, in turn, depends on your income. Big picture: At the end of the plan payment period, the remaining balances on most debts are discharged (credit cards, medical bills, unsecured personal loans, unsecured junior mortgages, etc.)
The Chapter 13 Plan
In Chapter 13, your lawyer proposes a plan for the Court to approve. The plan is a written document, usually of about five pages. If the plan complies with the bankruptcy laws, your creditors cannot refuse to accept it. This is the primary power of Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
If you file Chapter 13, you make monthly payments as set forth in the plan. This money is sent to the Chapter 13 Trustee, a quasi-governmental official, who holds the money pending court approval of your plan. Once your plan is confirmed by the court, the trustee begins to make payments to your creditors in the manner provided in your plan.
The calculation of attorneys’ fees in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases is quite different than in Chapter 7 cases. Massachusetts Bankruptcy Local Rules permit a standard Chapter 13 fee of $3,500 for pre-confirmation and $500 for post-confirmation services. In Massachusetts this $4,000 legal fee retainer is called a “no look” fee because an attorney can charge it without needing to file a special itemized explanation of the attorneys fees with the Bankruptcy Court and without securing a Judge’s approval.
For Chapter 13 cases the Crossley Law Offices charges clients an upfront $4,000 legal fee retainer. For the level of experienced bankruptcy lawyers you get on your side, our fee is a fair and reasonable retainer fee to charge people who are struggling through increasingly difficult economic times.
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