When Should I Schedule an Initial Consultation with a Bankruptcy Attorney?

Posted by Kevin Ryan | Aug 15, 2016 | 0 Comments

Schedule a Free Consultation as Soon as Possible

The Answer to this question is "yesterday."   As soon as you are merely thinking the word "bankruptcy," you should also be thinking about which bankruptcy attorney you are going to call to discuss your best options.  Most bankruptcy attorneys and law firms provide some type of free initial consultation to basically diagnose your legal problem.   Bankruptcy cases present a myriad of legal issues and often lots of little problems that must be identified and worked through.  There are some cases where what initially appears to be a "little problem," is actually a big, complex legal problem. The job of a bankruptcy attorney is to meet with the client and thoroughly walk through the client's assets, income, debts, transfers of property ( sometimes going back ten years in the case of a Trust), lawsuits, probate estates, inheritance, family situation, business assets, business liabilities, business transactions, etc.   In sum, the bankruptcy attorney really cannot tell you what the case will actually cost in terms of legal fees without first meeting with you and figuring out what your case is all about.   

Chapter 7 Legal Fees 

In the majority of individual Chapter 7 cases where there are no complex business or investment real estate issues to deal with, the attorney can usually quote the client a base legal fee for representation in the case.  The attorney must be paid for the defined standard legal fees for the case prior to the case being filed, and should enter into a written Attorney Fee Agreement with you.  The Attorney Fee Agreement will itemize the services the Attorney is going provide in your case, and the corresponding legal fee due prior to case filing.  If the attorney does not collect these legal fees prior to filing the bankruptcy case, the legal fees will be discharged along with all of the other pre-bankruptcy debts.    There are instances where unforeseen circumstances require payment of legal fees after the case is filed, as spelled out in the Attorney Fee Agreement, and these legal fees can be collected by the Attorney because they are post-filing legal fees not included in the standard services determined prior to the filing of the case.   

Chapter 13 Legal Fees

In Chapter 13 Cases, the attorney can put some or all of your attorney fees into the Chapter 13 Plan.  It is not uncommon for the Attorney to require a small retainer fee ( usually $500.00 to $800.00) in a standard non-business / non-real estate Ch 13 case, to cover the cost of preparing the case documents and services prior to the Plan being confirmed by the Court.   Our firm will usually consider a $0.00 down Chapter 13 filing with all fees paid inside the plan as long as the client has a long term job with wages that will ensure funding of the Plan.   If the client has a more "high risk" work history ( meaning a case where a job was just recently started with a long period of unemployment, high expenses, or semi-reliable income), a small retainer fee to secure costs of preparing the case will be needed up front.   

If you have questions about the costs of filing a bankruptcy case, please, CALL me, I'll BE there for you.  

About the Author

Kevin Ryan

"I'll never be the kind of attorney your creditors want me to be. I'll always be the kind of attorney you NEED me to be. Call me. I'll BE there for you. And I'll make them go away."  -Kevin Ryan, Attorney at Law Kevin Ryan is a graduate of the College of Wooster and the Cleveland Marshall College of Law. He is admitted to practice before all Alabama State Courts, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Alabama. The United States Bankruptcy Court is a part of the United States District Court. Since 1998, Mr. Ryan has represented thousands of individual clients in bankruptcy, criminal, divorce, probate, personal injury, and real estate matters.  Attorney Ryan is also a licensed real estate agent in Alabama.  He handles  Bank-owned properties, short sales, and conventional sales in addition to conventional real estate listings.   This wide range of experience enables Attorney Ryan to take a wider look at your legal matter. It is important to consult with an attorney who can see from experience how other legal issues may affect your situation, and advise you accordingly. Personal Info Kevin Ryan is a member of First Baptist Church in Silverhill, Alabama. He resides in Silverhill with his wife Jessica and their three children. Committed to helping our Clients achieve a fresh financial start Our practice focuses primarily on consumer bankruptcy matters under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.  Our law practice also includes matters where bankruptcy litigation, appellate work, or involvement in civil lawsuits is needed by a client.     No representation is made that the quality of any of these legal services is of higher quality than another attorney or law firm.   The United States Bankruptcy Code requires the following notice:  We are a Debt Relief Agency, which means we help people get legal relief from their Debts through the bankruptcy process. Interested in learning more about our bankruptcy attorney near Mobile, Alabama? Contact Us for help with chapter 7 bankruptcy or chapter 13 bankruptcy in Mobile, Baldwin and Washington counties. Education Juris Doctor, Cleveland Marshall College of Law, 1997 Employed full time as a paralegal while attending law school in the evenings. B.A., The College of Wooster, 1994 NCAA Div.III All Conference (N.C.A.C.) Football Team : Defense 1993; Most Inspirational Senior Award 1993; Co-captain 1993; Letterman 1991-1993; Phi Sigma Alapha Fraternity 1991-1994; Athletic Director Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice Alabama


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We serve the following localities: Choctaw county, Washington county, Clarke county, Monroe county, Escambia county, Mobile County including Eight Mile, Grand Bay, Irvington, Mobile, Prichard, Saraland, Semmes, Theodore, and Tillmans Corner; and Baldwin County including Bay Minette, Daphne, Fairhope, Foley, and Robertsdale.

I'll BE there for you.

I'll never be the kind of attorney your creditors want me to be. I'll always be the kind of attorney you NEED me to be. Call me. I'll BE there for you. - Kevin Ryan, Attorney at Law