Will I file a Bankruptcy Case Prior To Being Fully Paid?

There are some cases under Chapter 7 where I will file a case prior to being paid in full.  Those cases involve wage garnishments, bank citations or other court appearances required that would be a burden to the debtor and would actually hinder the debtor’s ability to pay the law firm in the long run.  In those certain circumstances, when the debtor must be filed, if they show good working history, if they have the ability to fulfill the obligations under the Bankruptcy Code, then I will consider filing prior to being paid in full.  In those circumstances, we will want a post-petition retainer agreement which basically sets forth what the law firm is going to do after the case is filed and what the debtor is going to do in terms of fees after the case is filed.

With regard to Chapter 13, the majority of Chapter 13 attorneys’ fees are paid during the course of the case.  The filing fee for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy at the time of this writing is $281.  The law firm will require at least the filing fee before filing with the court.  However, some law firms require a portion of attorney’s fees, anywhere from $100-$500 prior to the case being filed.  In some circumstances, I would require a certain amount down before filing and in other circumstances; I would require only the other filing fee.  Some of the factors that I consider are the urgency of the filing, the debtor’s ability to repay and make feasible plan payments and that’s based on how long they’ve been at their job, what their income is and how serious and committed they are to making their Chapter 13 casework.

So in many cases, attorney fees do not have to be paid in full and in some cases, there is no money down on the attorneys’ fees and only the court costs are required to get a case filed.



  • AS SEEN ON:Fox News Chicago
  • Chicago Sun-Times
  • Chicago Tribune
  • Daily Herald
Fox News Chicago Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Tribune Daily Herald