Can all attorney fees be put in Chapter 13?

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
Filing bankruptcy, especially a Chapter 13 plan, can involve rules and procedures complex enough to require legal assistance from an attorney. Of course, attorneys don’t generally work for free, but the valuable assistance and advice they can offer you most likely will outweigh the costs. Depending on the complexity of your case, attorney fees can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Attorney fees tend to be higher for Chapter 13 cases, as opposed to Chapter 7 bankruptcies, because there’s usually a greater amount of attorney involvement over a longer period of time. Fortunately, however, in a Chapter 13 plan, you’ll be allowed to pay your attorney fees in installments, similar to the way that your other creditors get paid in the plan. Basically, a portion of the monthly payments you pay to the trustee in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be used to pay your attorney. All fees charged by your attorney, regardless of whether they’re paid in installments or in one lump sum, must be reviewed and approved by the bankruptcy judge to ensure that they’re fair and reasonable. Before hiring an attorney, make sure that you have a clear understanding in writing of what legal services are covered by your attorney’s fee. Find out if he or she is charging you an hourly rate or a flat fee and ask if there are any circumstances that may require additional costs.

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