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IS THE PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF BANKRUPTCY IMPROVING?
There are a couple of forces at play, and a lot depends on which part of the country you’re in. Up here in the Midwest, specifically Northeast Michigan, we’ve just been through an economic tsunami, in which General Motors left town and went through bankruptcy. I tell people this is not like it used to be; their parents would never consider filing. But then again, I have people in their late 60s or late 70s who come in to file; it’s hard for them because these people are old school; they always believed in paying their bills – but there comes a time when you have to “throw in the towel” to win.
As a trustee told me years ago, when a creditor lends money, that creditor assumes the risk of loss, so don’t take it personally; they’ve already assumed the risk. So don’t worry about trying to save the world, save yourself.
How Does a Bankruptcy Attorney Get Paid?
In Chapter 13, you can pay you attorney fees through your plan. In certain situations, you can make payments on Chapter 7 attorneys fees. The Chief Judge in the Eastern District of Michigan issued an opinion several years ago that allows practitioners to accept half down and then take installment payments on the balance post-petition.
In addition to attorneys fees, you also have to pay filing fees. Today, the filing fee for a Chapter 7 is $335. For Chapter 13 the filing fee is $310. You make your filing fees in 4 monthly installments. You also have to pay for a credit report and for the pre filing Credit Counseling Course and the post filing Financial Management Course.
What Are Some Red Flags to Consider When Hiring An Attorney For Bankruptcy?
Having been around this stuff for 25 years, I tell people the hardest thing for any layperson and for a lot of attorneys is to pick the right lawyer. One big factor is how quickly the attorney’s office returns your calls; how will the office respond when you have questions. We focus on client service; we like to be on top of things; it’s really important to me that all calls are returned promptly and that client needs are addressed.
With the advent of the internet and LegalZoom, everything is much more transparent; people understand the process and more people come in relatively well-informed and I appreciate that. I like to be really open and honest with people and tell them exactly what’s going on. I don’t want to just give people a bunch of forms to fill out and then create everything in secret so that the client has no clue what’s going on. I hear a lot of complaints from people who have worked with other attorneys, who just signed forms and had no clue as to what was really happening.
For more information on Public Perception of Bankruptcy, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling Attorney Mike Shovan at (989) 465-8144 today!