Birmingham Bankruptcy Lawyers – Bankruptcy Attorney
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Our bankruptcy attorneys are currently charging $850 to file most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases in and around Jefferson County. If you are drowning in debt, then let our Birmingham bankruptcy lawyers help you get financial relief and counsel you through the bankruptcy process.
Filing for Bankruptcy in Birmingham
When you set up the initial consultation to speak with our Birmingham bankruptcy lawyer over the phone or in person in our Birmingham office, we will send a questionnaire for you to fill out and bring with you to the appointment. If you decide to do a phone consultation, one of our Birmingham bankruptcy attorneys can usually call you back the same day and briefly go over your financial situation in general. If after this consultation it is necessary to meet in person, then we can set up a meeting in our Birmingham office.
In order to actually file your bankruptcy we will need certain documentation depending on your particular situation. We will almost always need your last two years tax returns, your last six (6) months of income information (usually in the form of your pay stubs), and a list of your creditors whether in the form of bills that you have or a list that you actually write out for us. After going over your situation and determining whether bankruptcy is the right option for you, we can discuss moving forward with your filing.
You will usually be either filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is basically a three to five year payment plan that is administered through the Bankruptcy Court, where you pay your creditors off over time allowing you to get caught up on certain important bills such as your mortgage or a car payment. However, when most people think of filing bankruptcy they are thinking of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is a much quicker and simpler type than a Chapter 13 and usually last about 90 days.
Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate much, if not all, of your unsecured debts in a very short amount of time. However, not everyone can qualify to file a Chapter 7, and you must be eligible in order to do so. There are certain income based tests that must be performed in order to determine if you qualify and your last six months of pay stubs or other proof of income for the last six months is required in order to make this determination.
Once your bankruptcy case is filed, whether a Chapter 7 or 13, you will have to go to something called a Meeting of the Creditors or 341 Hearing. No creditors usually show up for this meeting and it is meant as an opportunity for the Trustee in your case to ask you a few questions under oath. One of our Birmingham bankruptcy lawyers will be there with you for this meeting, and it usually consists of the Trustee in your case asking a few simple questions. If you live in Birmingham or the surrounding areas of Bessemer, Pelham, Trussville, Gardendale, Hoover, Alabaster (or anywhere else in Shelby or Jefferson County) then this meeting will likely be at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Birmingham. The United States Courts are divided into divisions and districts, with Birmingham being located in the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division.
How Much Does Filing for Bankruptcy in the Birmingham Area Cost?
Our Birmingham bankruptcy lawyers are currently charging $850 in attorney’s fees for simple, no asset Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases throughout Alabama. This would include most Chapter 7 filings, but there may be additional costs if there are complex legal issues such as corporate, divorce, or other such issues that would require a significant amount of additional time to handle or are likely to involve hearings. However, there is always a filing fee that the court charges as well, which is currently $335 in Chapter 7 bankruptcies. Additionally, there is a small fee for pulling your credit report (usually around $30), and there are two courses (a debt management and a credit counseling course) that you must complete and pay their fees, which combined usually total around $45 (each course usually takes about an hour to do online). So, to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy with our law firm, the combined costs, including attorney fees, filing fees, and all additional fees, will usually be approximately $1260 total.
Although a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be beneficial to you in potentially discharging your unsecured debts, sometimes another type of bankruptcy called a Chapter 13 would be preferable. A Chapter 13 case is much less expensive to get filed, since most of the attorney fees get paid in the five year payment plan, so there are less cost up front. When you call our bankruptcy lawyers in Birmingham and set up a consultation, we will go over your situation with you and help you figure out which type of bankruptcy is the best option for you.
The Harris Firm regularly files bankruptcy cases in the Jefferson County area and are familiar with the local requirements in the U.S. Courts there. Attorney Steven Harris is a member of the Central Alabama Better Business Bureau and the local Birmingham Bar Association, and he is usually the attorney that meets with potential clients in our Birmingham office. If you need some financial relief then give our Birmingham bankruptcy attorneys a call today for a consultation in person or over the phone.