Bankruptcy Attorney Flat Fees
Many prospective bankruptcy clients are unsure of the exact scope of the services included in the flat fee charged by bankruptcy attorneys. Some prospective clients believe the flat fee will cover everything that could arise in their bankruptcy, whereas others believe that separate costs will arise in the bankruptcy process. In practice, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. The flat fee will cover a range of services that will normally be sufficient to acquire a discharge in the chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, but will not cover additional services that do not normally arise in consumer bankruptcy cases.
What Bankruptcy Attorney Flat Fees Do Cover
The flat fee charged by many bankruptcy attorneys will cover bankruptcy advice, preparation of the bankruptcy documents, and representation at the meeting of creditors. In most cases this level of service will be sufficient to achieve a bankruptcy discharge.
What Bankruptcy Attorney Flat Fees Do NOT Cover
bankruptcy attorney flat fees will often exclude representation in adversarial proceedings. Adversarial proceedings include representation when a creditor objects to your discharge. This level of representation is often excluded from the flat fee and requires signing a separate representation agreement or payment of an hourly rate as identified in the original representation agreement.
Why Do Bankruptcy Attorney Flat Fees Exclude Some Services
In order to be competitive bankruptcy attorneys must exclude infrequent but labor intensive services from their flat fee. By excluding these services the bankruptcy attorney can charge lower fees to the majority of clients. If the bankruptcy attorney did not exclude these services from their flat fee they would have to charge a higher flat fee to every client to compensate themselves for the infrequent but labor intensive work required by a minority of clients.