Be Careful About Your Bankruptcy Information Source!! The Truth About Attorneys And Bankruptcy Filing

08 Oct Be Careful About Your Bankruptcy Information Source!! The Truth About Attorneys And Bankruptcy Filing

Having spent the day looking at the sources of information about bankruptcy on the internet, I was both amused and dismayed to find a grassroots website called www.answerbag.com where folks post questions and other folks post answers. The amusing/dismaying question was “Why Do Bankruptcy Lawyers Expect To Be Paid?” Four folks answered that question.

Answer #1 – accurate – “because if they didn’t, they would likely be facing bankruptcy themselves.” Correct Answer: Pretty close. You are paying for a professional service and that professional has bills to pay, such as office rent, salaries of employees, insurance, utilities, computer equipment/software to maintain. There are many attorneys who do a certain number of hours as pro bono (volunteer) but most attorneys have to earn a living and therefore charge for the service they provide.

Answer #2: Said that it is illegal for an attorney to do a bankruptcy for free and that this rule was put in place to make sure that too many people didn’t file bankruptcy. Correct Answer: An attorney can charge any fee that is reasonable or charge no fee. There are many Legal Aid attorneys who work in bankruptcy clinics where the clients pay no legal fee. There is no such “rule.”

Answer #3: Said that attorneys know the truth. Am not sure what the poster meant by this–whether he was being funny, sarcastic or literal.

Answer #4: Said that attorneys will charge you to tell you what brand of toilet paper to buy in the grocery store. Correct Answer: If you are in an attorney’s office, paying for advice on which brand of toilet paper to buy in the grocery store, then there is probably a more serious problem that needs dealing with than bankruptcy.

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I'm a consumer protection lawyer in Oregon, working with people in Klamath; Lake; Jackson; Josephine; Curry; and Deschutes County. I speak regularly on bankruptcy and consumer protection issues nationwide.
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