Bankruptcy Lawyer Fee in Los Angeles

Written by: leonora  |  Published on: March 21st, 2012  |  Category: Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Basics

How much will it cost to file for bankruptcy?

I get that question on the phone a lot. It is perfectly understandable. In fact I am planning a wedding right now and it would be really helpful to know how much it costs for flowers and music and photographer and the rest and very rarely am I able to get the price from the vendor’s website, so trust me when I say that I understand your frustration. It is frustrating and I completely understand that before you waste your time coming in to meet with a bankruptcy attorney in Los Angeles, you want to know if you can even afford it.

However, just like with wedding flowers, my guess is you are not finding prices on the attorney’s website, just like mine. Why? Well, just like the florist will need to know if I want carnations or orchids and whether it’s a small 3 table wedding or if it will be a ballroom for 300, she can’t give a quote until she knows what she is looking at. Similarly, even with a Ch. 7, it is impossible for me to give a quote until I know what your bankruptcy case will entail.

Here is what I can tell you about my bankruptcy fees. They are very reasonable for what you are getting. And I am not just saying that. They really are. From start to finish you are meeting with just me, an experienced attorney. You are NOT meeting with a secretary who handles your case and just gets an attorney to sign off. While I do need your help gathering your documents, I don’t make you fill out lengthy, incomprehensible questionnaires. We sit down and I fill out all the documents for you while interviewing you in my office. I explain the questions and we review your answers together. You are not left wondering if you are doing things properly.


How can I offer such reasonable fees without compromising quality?

I keep my overhead low. Your fees shouldn’t be going to pay for my fancy office, therefore my office is not fancy. A lot of attorneys have a large staff and cannot afford to charge less. I think it is not optimal for the client and because I prefer to be able to control everything about your case (yes, a little OCD, but kind of a good thing in a lawyer), I don’t have those constraints. Because I don’t have a big office bill and a bunch of salaries to pay every month, I can focus on my clients and provide quality legal services without outrageous legal fees.

Just to give you an insight into how I determine your bankruptcy fee, here are some questions I would ask to determine what the fee will be. Typically, my Chapter 7 legal fee is anywhere from $950 to $2,500. Most people’s chapter 7 legal fees turn out to be around $1,300 plus the filing fee of $306.

So how do I know what the legal fee for bankruptcy will be?

1. I look at your income, and it’s important because if you are over the median additional work will need to be done.
2. I look at the amount of debt, and it’s important because additional work will need to be done if you have a lot of creditors and additional questions may be presented by the Trustee.
3. I look at your assets to review if additional exemption planning may be necessary and that usually costs extra.
4. I look at whether you have a house and a car and what the situation is with those assets as well.

Having answered those questions, I am usually able to give my bankruptcy attorney fee to you pretty quickly and you will not be surprised by additional costs.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer Fee in Los Angeles, CA

For Chapter 13 bankruptcies in Los Angeles you will find a pretty standardized fee structure, just because one is recommended by the Central District of California Bankruptcy Court. While, attorneys are allowed to charge less, because of the extensive amount of work it takes to properly handle a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, most attorneys stick to the fee schedule and here is mine.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy for a person who receives a W-2 and doesn’t own a business, my attorney fee is $4,000 (with 50% paid upfront and the rest through the plan). If the Chapter 13 debtor does not want to strip their second mortgage or they don’t have a second mortgage, my legal fee is generally $3,500 (with 50% paid upfront and the rest through the plan).

For a business owner who wants to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Los Angeles, mylegal fee is $4,500 (with 50% paid upfront and the rest through the plan). There is a higher fee for business owners because there are additional documents that must be prepared.

Be careful of “Bargains” when looking for a Bankruptcy Lawyer in Los Angeles

The old “you get what you pay for” is commonly used, but I don’t agree 100% with that either. Look, I love bargains. I love discounts and I believe that if you are smart and do your research good deals are out there. Having said that, you also have to be reasonable. Bankruptcy is an important legal decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You will find all these bankruptcy petition preparers, unlicensed “lawyers” and the like advertising ridiculously low fees and promising the sky. I would not go to a dental assistant to get my root canal (and hopefully neither would you). Similarly, I wouldn’t go to a big fancy place where a scary looking surgeon came in and talked to me for a second, didn’t remember my name or review my file, and then charged a bundle as he hustled me out of the office and had his intern handle the surgery. I would go to someone who knows what they are doing. Who will take the time to listen and who will handle my case from start to finish. Yes, I would go to the equivalent of myself with a medical degree. All joking aside, though, I hope this will be helpful and provide you with some guidance as to what to expect as far as legal fees in bankruptcy in Los Angeles.

If you would like a specific quote for your case, please feel free to call my office at (310) 481-5098.

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We help people file for bankruptcy, in addition to other legal services. As such, we are designated a debt relief agency by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.This site is for general informational purposes only. Nothing on this site is legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created until a written agreement is entered into and signed by you and Leonora Gorelik. Law Offices of Leonora Gorelik 3835 Hayvenhurst Ave. Encino, CA 91436