If you are reading this post you’ve probably seen some of the bankruptcy ads and websites for lawyers in Newnan, Georgia (GA). It’s common to see ads touting that you can start a chapter 7 bankruptcy case for $299.00 and a chapter 13 case for $75.00. I know of one that says “$100.00 hires an attorney”. Inevitably, these are the ads run by the big Atlanta bankruptcy mills. Now what if I told you that it costs $299.00 just for bankruptcy court filing fees for chapter 7 bankruptcies and filing fees for chapter 13 cases are $274.00? Certainly their lawyers don’t work for free so why don’t they advertise their true fees?
So consider this is your first lesson in being a responsible consumer of legal services – make sure you understand all the fees that will be charged and make sure you understand how much you will be charged for the total case, especially if you are looking for a bankruptcy lawyer in Newnan, Georgia (GA). For example, if you have judgments that have been filed against you, you may need to have motions filed to eliminate liens related to the judgments. Is your attorney going to file these for you? Is your attorney going to charge you extra if he does file them?
Also, does your attorney have a local office or is it a satellite office that they staff once a week? Will you have someone who knows you when you call in with a question? Will the lawyer reply to an email you send or will it be the paralegal du jour who has no idea who you are? And if you do get to meet with an attorney, will they take the time to listen to make sure they understand all of your issues? One former big firm attorney told me he used to get in trouble if he met with a client for more than 10 minutes.
I’m not suggesting that there are no good attorneys at the large bankruptcy firms because there are. The question is whether you will ever get to speak with them for more than “10 minutes.” What I am suggesting, is that you might want to consider the level of personal service that you will get from firms that try to get you in the door by advertising the filing fees to lure you into a phone call or email.
At the Palmer Firm, P.C., we are at our Newnan office every day. You have an assigned paralegal who will know all the details of your case, and you will always have access to me for those questions that require an experienced bankruptcy lawyer’s expertise. We have a rule at the Palmer Firm, if we don’t respond to a client inquiry within 24 hours – you have our permission to hound us!! Needless to say we take that commitment seriously!