Affordable bankruptcy rates: Attorney billing shouldn’t be confusing or intimidating. It is the mission of The Hilla Law Firm to ensure that, upon completion of your matter, you have gotten the best value possible for your investment and that you have no unanswered questions about your bill. Further, as a “solo” law practice without the need to maintain unnecessary overhead for superfluous personnel, our billing rates are tailored for you, the individual, rather than for some large corporation with deep pockets. We understand the value of a dollar and will work hard to give you the best value we can.
Free Initial Consultations
We offer free initial consultations for business-hour appointments in our conveniently located Southfield office. For off-site appointments in your home or for weekend or appointments outside of normal business hours, we may request a small consultation fee to be applied toward your overall retainer if you decide to retain us, depending upon the circumstances. Legal advice is not provided at the initial consultation other than a general recommendation, based upon your individual circumstances, as to a course of action.
Generally, however, The Hilla Law Firm does not believe that you should have to pay us to decide whether we are the right attorney for you. Initial consultations are a great way for us to meet and discuss your situation, the bankruptcy process, and how we can best assist you. The decision to retain us is Step 2, as far as we are concerned: meeting for the first time is Step 1.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Rates
In most cases, we charge a “flat-fee” for Chapter 7 bankruptcies tailored to your individual circumstances. Our lowest Chapter 7 flat-fee bankruptcy rate is market consistent for the Detroit area, but the fee may be higher in an individual case if it offers a higher level of complexity, involving issues of corporation ownership, tax debt to be discharged, an ongoing divorce, significant non-exemptible assets, multiple real estate properties, and other issues. Regardless of the level of complexity of your case, you will leave our initial consultation with a specific quotation in black-and-white.
In well over 95% of Chapter 7 cases that we file, the “flat-fee” is the only fee that a client pays us. However, in a minority of cases in which litigation with a creditor or the Chapter 7 trustee develops, or other complexities arise post-filing, additional post-filing fees may be applied. We will discuss this possibility in great detail at your initial consultation, where you will receive a firm quotation in black-and-white.
The Hilla Law Firm, PLLC prides itself on transparency regarding client fees and good communication with clients.
Note that, for Chapter 7 cases, you will also be required to pay a $306 court-filing fee as well as additional fees of approximately $55 (subject to change depending on market-rates) for two online credit counseling courses that you will be required to take.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Rates
Bankruptcy rates for Chapter 13 bankruptcies are not billed as “flat-fees” the way that Chapter 7 bankruptcies are. For Chapter 13 bankruptcies, The Hilla Law Firm bills hourly according to the number of hours required for the cases at Attorney John M. Hilla’s current hourly rate, which is favorably affordable in comparison with many other bankruptcy attorneys in the Detroit Metro area.
The Hilla Law Firm requires a small retainer up-front for Chapter 13 bankruptcies, which varies slightly depending upon whether we are stripping a 2nd mortgage lien from your home or not but which, in either case, is less than you will pay us up-front in most cases for the Chapter 7 “flat-fee.”
The balance of the Chapter 13 fees we earn will then be paid to us through the Chapter 13 payment plan as if we were your highest priority creditor. In other words, out of the monthly Chapter 13 plan payments that you make to the Chapter 13 Trustee at the Bankruptcy Court, the Trustee will then forward the balance of our fees to us. The Bankruptcy Court requires this arrangement so that the fees charged by bankruptcy attorneys can be monitored, but it is an arrangement that we appreciate as it helps to make the process more initially affordable for you.
And the best part? Because we get paid first out of your Chapter 13 Plan, every dollar that the Trustee sends to us is a dollar that doesn’t get paid to your unsecured creditors. In a sense, your creditors pay your attorney fees for you in a Chapter 13.
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will also have to pay a $281 court filing-fee and, again, $55 or so, depending upon market-rates, for two online credit counseling courses.
If you are stripping a lien or cramming down the value of real estate, you may also need to pay $300 or so for an appraisal of the property. You will pay that cost directly to the appraiser we recommend for you. Again, see the Chapter 13 links above for more information on these Chapter 13 options.
Rates for Non-Bankruptcy Matters
For criminal defense and other non-bankruptcy matters, The Hilla Law Firm charges either a flat-fee, an hourly retainer, or a blended mix of the two depending on the process and nature of the matter.
Over-the-Phone Fee Quotations
The Hilla Law Firm regrets that it is unable to provide fee quotations for bankruptcy rates or other fees over the telephone or to provide other legal advice without first being retained. Contact us to schedule an in-person consultation with us to discuss your specific matter, its level of complexity, and your specific fee quotation.