A lot less than paying debt that you can't pay. Every lawyer charges exactly the same for Chapter 13, so don't bother shopping for fees for Chapter 13. Why? In almost every court, the court rules provide for a standard fee for all services. So, it's not the fee that you use to pick out an attorney.
Same with Chapter 7. Some people think everyone with a law license is the same. That's why the jails are full. Lots of people who don't know how to pick a decent attorney. People who file bankruptcy often have no confidence in themselves or their family or their budgets, and panic! They think, "I have to pay a big fee all at once and I have no money."
Not much. I have found that there is very little difference in attorney's fees. You can't save more than a couple hundred dollars between lawyers' fees for the same type of case. Some people like cheap doctors, and some people like cheap food. Some people pick attorneys by a $100 difference in price, not realizing that one deal your attorney makes can save or cost you thousands.
So, the cheapest lawyer in town is not necessarily the best. We have seen “cheap” lawyers lose their client’s homes, cars, and other assets. Suddenly the “cheap” case cost a client $15,000 or worse, the United States Trustee wants to call the client in for examination to see if there are any other missing assets the trustee can take. That’s why we say, “why pay the same and not get the name?” Because when most bankruptcy cases cost the same, why not get a law firm with more than forty years of experience helping people get out of debt. Why not hire the law firm whose goal is to provide superior customer service?
For instance, let's say that 5 years later, a bill collector calls and says you left him off your petition, and he wants to be paid. Will you be able to call your attorney who did the Chapter 7, for advice, or will the telephone be disconnected? If it is Geraci Law, yes you can. 7 am to 7 pm and Saturdays until 1 PM. All your records are electronic. No voice mail either.
In other words, go for experience, not price, because there is not much difference in fees for consumer bankruptcies, but there is a big difference in the quality of the advice and service.