If you want to file for bankruptcy in Georgia and are wondering how much an attorney charges, continue reading. After analyzing many data points, we’ve discovered the five key factors that determine how much bankruptcy attorney in Georgia charges. If you would like to learn more about filing for bankruptcy, check out this article.
Understanding Bankruptcy Attorney Fees in Georgia
The main goal of this article is explain the factors that affect the cost of bankruptcy attorney fees in Georgia. In addition, this article will give you an approximate figure of what you’ll be paying in each type of bankruptcy. For an estimate on attorney fees, click on our bankruptcy attorney fee calculator.
The factors that determine the bankruptcy fees are:
- Type of Bankruptcy
- Your location in Georgia
- How complex the bankruptcy case is
- The connection involved with your attorney
- The expertise of your bankruptcy attorney
You can use our bankruptcy calculator to get an estimate for the cost of hiring an attorney. To use our means test calculator for Georgia, click here.
1) Type of Bankruptcy
The type of bankruptcy is very important in determining how much you’ll pay.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers discharge at a faster rate than any other type of bankruptcy. Discharge is usually given within the first 90 days. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also less complex than other types of bankruptcy. This is because the attorney puts in less time in comparison to other types of bankruptcy.
A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Georgia is also known as the wage earner’s bankruptcy plan. Chapter 13 is unique in this way, meaning you have to devote more time into paying off your debts. This will require more of the attorney’s time and will ultimately make the entire process relatively more expensive. More often than not, attorney fees are usually included in the Chapter 13 payment plan. Also, most bankruptcy courts offer schedules of presumptively reasonable fees that many practitioners will desire to charge for. For more information on Chapter 13 bankruptcy, click here and here.
The distinction between Chapter 7 and 13 is important to understand. Check out this article that goes deeper into the difference between the two forms of bankruptcy.
2) Your Location in Georgia
Where you’re filing for bankruptcy largely affects how much your attorney will charge. Per PACER, one area in Georgia can cost you $1500 to file for Chapter 7, while another can cost you $2000+. These discrepancies are common when you compare costs in different states and in different areas of the same state.
3) The complexity of bankruptcy case
Both Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be complex. Let’s go through the complexity of each case:
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Under Median Income
To determine whether you’re eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will have to take a means test. For a means test, the government makes use of Census Bureau Administrative Expenses Multipliers and IRS Data. This will be completed when you fill a Bankruptcy Form 122.
One way to qualify for Chapter 7 is if your income falls below the average median income of your state. To determine the average median income for your state, household size, and income, click here.
If the number of people in your household exceeds the number the table, add $9,000 to each individual.
Even if, after completing Form 122A-2 and Form B122A-1, you find out that your monthly income is above the average median income qualification for Chapter 7, it is still possible for you to receive a bankruptcy discharge. Attorneys find this type of bankruptcy simpler if your income is below the median income in the state; as such, the cost of filing for this type of bankruptcy is much cheaper.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy above Median Income
You can still qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge if your income is above the monthly median income. You can access it if you have no disposable income after taking the means test (more information here) or deducting some income.
If your income is above the median income for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will be asked to fill Form 122A-2. The process is more complicated to determine if you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy when your income is higher than the state’s average median. Because of this, attorneys may charge you more.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
It will take your 3 or 5 years to get a Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge. The process of determining what you’ll pay for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is quite complex. An example of this complexity is if you have a child support obligation and are pursuing Chapter 13. It will be an ongoing process with your attorney as any significant change in your finances affects what you pay.
3) Level of attorney connection
You have most likely seen adverts of law firms advertising their law firms. You might have also noticed that the price differs even for law firms in the same area. The reason for that lies in the fact that there are two types of firms, explained below.
In Georgia, this type of firm will help you consult with a well-trained paralegal or an attorney. The firm helps you schedule multiple consultations with an attorney. They will answer any question you have, help file, and monitor the bankruptcy application process. Most times, the attorney will have meetings with your creditors during the 341 meeting.
A bankruptcy mill is a high volume legal organization that advertises aggressively, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. However, it provides poor legal services to their client. Although this definition does not apply to all bankruptcy mills, it paints an accurate picture of most.
A bankruptcy mill may consult you with a non-attorney staff such as a salesman. In addition, a separate attorney will be present as the 341 meeting with your creditors. The primary purpose of bankruptcy mills is to provide a high volume of legal services at minimum cost.
5) Bankruptcy attorney expertise
If it’s difficult for you to grasp the content of bankruptcy forms, then consider hiring an attorney to help. Keep in mind that the forces of demand and supply will influence what a highly experienced or board-certified attorney charges.
For example, if you approach an attorney who has over 25 years of experience in filing bankruptcy cases and has filed lots of cases to the Georgia bankruptcy district court, they may charge more than one who just graduated from the law school. Additionally, a board-certified bankruptcy attorney will charge more than one that is not. This is because they are considered as an expert in the field.
If you’re filing for bankruptcy and think that your bankruptcy case is relatively straightforward, then a less experienced lawyer should be able to meet your needs. In complex cases, it’s best to go for a highly experienced and knowledgeable attorney.
Estimating the attorney fee in your area
Hopefully you now have adequate knowledge of the factors that determine what an attorney charges for bankruptcy in Georgia. In addition to this information, it is imperative to find a good bankruptcy attorney. For tips on what makes up a good attorney, check out our article. If you have an outstanding questions on debt and bankruptcy, check out this post for answers. To get an estimate for the fees, use our bankruptcy attorney fee calculator which does the following:
- Puts where you live into consideration
- Estimates if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge with the means test.
- Estimates your Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan payment so that you will know which option suits you best,
- Compares other options like debt management, debt payoff planning, and debt settlement.