The 2020 average wage for a worker in Kentucky is about $44,000 dollars per year. The average Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney fee in Louisville, Kentucky, ran $1200 for a single and $1400 for a couple until 2019. There has been no substantial increase in 10 years. In 2019 these fees increased nationwide to about $1,400 and $1,600 dollars. Nationwide, the attorney fee for filing a normal Chapter 7 uncontested bankruptcy has been about the same cost as a nice GE refrigerator at Lowes.
It normally costs $200 more to file as a couple than a single person. A case becomes a little more complex with more debt and property. When the client pays less, they often get fewer services or they get an attorney with less experience and knowledge. Over 90 percent of Consumer Chapter 7 cases are uncontested and take about the same amount of work.
Chapter 7 Attorney Fees in Louisville Kentucky
If the client owns a business or has multiple properties, the case gets more complex and takes more time. If you have been sued and own a home you may need to file an additional motion to strip any judgment lien. This also means an additional motion which costs $500 dollars. If you fail to remove the lien, you may have to pay the lien later. You can reopen the case and file the motion later, but there are costs, and it takes time which you may not have if you need to close a sale.
To file bankruptcy, a client has to take credit counseling before filing. After filing the Debtor has to take the Debtor education class. Each course costs 10-40 dollars.
If you go to the low-cost course providers, you may have to wait for the certificate. The better places are open 24 hours a day, answer the phone within two rings with someone who speaks English, and they file the debtor education certificate for you with the court.
⎆ Attorney fees in the Louisville area are low for the nation.
From 2010 to about 2019, I did not see any bankruptcy attorney fee increase in the Louisville area for Chapter 7 cases. In 2019 both attorney and filing fees increased. At some point, they had to go up because rent, insurance, utilities, and office staff wages have increased significantly since 2010.
Attorney fees are normally collected up front in Chapter 7, or we become a creditor and violate ethical rules that can get us and the client into trouble. You can now pay for your Chapter 7 over time by bifurcating your case and paying it in parts. Some attorneys will allow payments over time but won’t file the case until it is paid for. Paying filing fees in installments creates extra work for the judge, court clerk, and trustee. It may be better not to draw attention to your case.
⎆ Chapter 13 attorney Fees.
The Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney fees in Kentucky are flat fees. Inexperienced attorneys are paid exactly the same as the best attorney in town. Hire an inexperienced lawyer and you get a poor lawyer. Better attorneys can request and get additional fees if they prove they saved their client money by doing additional work. The court only approves these additional attorney fees that saved the client or the estate money. Any additional fees are normally paid by the court from the money you were paying to unsecured creditors. Basically, hiring a better lawyer in Chapter 13 costs the debtor the same amount as if he hired a bad attorney.
In 2020 the attorneys were paid a flat fee of 3750 in the Western District of Kentucky and 3500 in the Eastern District of Kentucky from payments from the Chapter 13 Trustee. You are far better off using the best attorney you can find in a Chapter 13 case because an experienced attorney will save you money and property. The cost of your attorney largely comes out of the pockets of the banks.
⎆ Read our bankruptcy manual.
The average person that reads our free book on bankruptcy makes about 8,000 dollars more from their bankruptcy. If you want to save money in Chapter 7, do your homework and work with your attorney as part of a team that files your case. By working with and hiring a qualified attorney, you will save money and time in your Chapter 7 case. But expect to pay about the price of an average refrigerator with the understanding that a more involved case and extra services to strip a second mortgage will cost an extra couple of hundred. If your attorney is doing cases cheaply, be wary.
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Resources for Bankruptcy
Louisville Kentucky Bankruptcy Forms
Chapter 7 Attorney Fees in Louisville Kentucky
Best Chapter 7 13 Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
Bankruptcy Attorney Fees and Costs in Louisville, Kentucky
Chapter 7 and Foreclosure Clients
If you are thinking about filing bankruptcy, don’t delay because timing is crucial. I am here to help you. So, contact my office right away to start the conversation. Nick C. Thompson, Bankruptcy Lawyer: 502-625-0905.