FAQ: Chapter 7

How much does a Chapter 7 cost?

How much does a surgery cost? The truth is, it depends. A case involving five properties, three cars and four lawsuits will likely cost more than one without any of these things. No two cases are the same. We do not charge a fee based solely on the amount of the debt involved. Instead, our fee is based on the complexity of the case, which can only be determined by an experienced bankruptcy attorney. We will be able to quote a reasonable fee at your free consultation after examining each individual case closely.

We do offer same day and no money down filing for qualified individuals and reasonable payment plans for all individuals.

Why do I have to fill out these forms? I just want to talk to an attorney and know my options and how much you charge.

Obviously, you are in our office because you need legal advice, but what we tell you is based on what you tell us. No two cases are the same. It's impossible to properly advise you without knowing what's going on in your financial situation. In addition, federal law requires a person filing bankruptcy to disclose all of her debts, assets, income, expenses and financial affairs in recent years. The more accurate and complete your information is, the better advice we can give you. Based on the information that you provide, we analyze your situation, explain your options, recommend the best course of action and quote you a fee.

All information we obtain during the phone consultation and face-to-face interview (and the entire course of representation if you hire us) is confidential.

Is my employer going to be notified?

Usually, no. That is not a standard procedure. However, some people may want their employer to be notified of bankruptcy filing when their wages are being, or about to be, garnished. The notice will tell the employer to stop the garnishment immediately. Also, keep in mind that the information on a bankruptcy petition is public record. While it usually does not get published on the newspaper or broadcast on TV, anyone can access such information from the court record if they want to take the time and pay the expense of doing so.

Are they going to take my house, car, stuff in the house and tax refund?

In most cases, no. The law allows a debtor to exempt certain assets within specific limits, including a tax refund, from creditors. In Illinois, as in most states, the exemptions are determined by state law. The limits are sufficient for most people in Illinois.

You must, however, be current with your mortgage payment, car payment, etc and have all necessary insurances if you want to keep these assets, or the court may allow the lender to foreclose on or repossess the collateral.

Do I have to close my bank account?

Usually not. The only time you would have to close your account is if you have a debt owed to your bank. Our attorney will explain the details.

Can you guarantee my case will work before I pay you?

No. There is no such thing as absolute guarantee in any legal case because many things are beyond the control of the lawyer. For example, a debtor must tell the truth, fulfill the documentation requirements, attend the meeting of creditors, cooperate with the trustee and U.S. Trustee, and undergo credit counseling and debtor education, etc. If the debtor does not do her job, or worse yet, lies to the court, the case will fail and can have other disastrous results. What we can guarantee is that we will provide you with excellent legal representation and advice, make you aware of all of your responsibilities and assist you in fulfilling them, be available to answer your questions and do our best to ensure that the process goes smoothly. If we do not believe that a case will work, we will not let you hire us even if you want to pay us. If we believe that there may be an issue, we will let you know well in advance.

Get More Answers From Ledford, Wu & Borges, LLC

For more information, reach us online or call 312-574-3327 to speak with an experienced Illinois Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer. We are ready to help.

Ledford, Wu & Borges, LLC has offices in Downtown Chicago, the South Side of Chicago, Homewood, North Riverside/Berwyn, the Northwest Side and the Southeast Side.