Debt relief attorneys provide many types of services to help people deal with their debts. In most cases, if you hire an attorney to help you negotiate a debt, file for bankruptcy, or provide another type of debt relief service, the lawyer's fees will depend on:
- the type of debt relief service you need, and
- your individual circumstances.
How Much Do Debt Relief Attorneys Charge?
How much a debt relief lawyer will charge often depends on whether you hire him or her to:
- file for bankruptcy
- negotiate and settle your debts, or
- provide another type of debt relief service.
Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
One of the most common services debt relief attorneys provide is to represent debtors in bankruptcy proceedings. How much a bankruptcy attorney will charge typically depends on:
- whether you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and
- how complicated your case is.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney fees. The amount of fees an attorney will charge to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy usually depends on how complex your case is and where you live. Average Chapter 7 attorney fees range from $700 to $2,500. (Learn more about average attorney fees in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.)
Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney fees. While attorney fees for filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can also depend on the difficulty of your case, many courts have guidelines that establish reasonable fee amounts (an attorney can charge more if he or she gets permission from the court). In most cases, these attorney fee amounts range from $2,500 to $6,000 depending on where you live. (Learn more about average attorney fees in Chapter 13 bankruptcy.)
Hiring an Attorney to Settle Your Debts
If you hire an attorney to negotiate with your creditors and settle your debts, your lawyer may charge:
- a flat fee based on the number of creditors you have
- a fee by the hour
- a percentage fee based on how much debt you have, or
- a percentage fee based on how much money you save.
Flat fees. Some attorneys may agree to charge a flat fee to negotiate with some or all of your creditors. Typically, the attorney’s fee will depend on the type and number of debts you want him or her to settle.
Hourly fees. An attorney may charge you an hourly fee to negotiate with your creditors. An attorney’s hourly rate can vary significantly depending on where you live and the amount of experience he or she has. In most cases, a debt relief lawyer’s hourly rate will range from $125 to $350 per hour.
Percentage of your debt. In some cases, an attorney may charge you a percentage fee based on the amount of debt you have.
Percentage based on how much you save. An attorney may also agree to charge you a percentage fee based on how much he or she saves you with the settlement. If the percentage is reasonable, this type of arrangement can be beneficial because the attorney’s fee is tied to the amount you save.
(Learn more about how much a lawyer may charge to negotiate with your creditors.)
Fees for Other Types of Debt Relief Services
In addition to bankruptcy and debt settlement, a debt relief attorney may also provide other types of services including:
- negotiating a loan modification or forbearance agreement
- completing a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure
- defending against a collection lawsuit, or
- disputing incorrect information on your credit report.
In general, how much an attorney will charge for these services will vary depending on where you live and the debt relief service you seek.
Talk to Debt Relief Attorneys in Your Area
In many cases, the best way to find out how much a debt relief attorney will charge is to talk to different lawyers in your area. Many debt relief attorneys offer free consultations and will quote you a fee after evaluating your circumstances.