HOW MUCH WILL A CONSUMER LAWYER COST?
Anyone who has been sued for a debt, considering filing for bankruptcy or harassed by a debt collector will reasonably be concerned with the costs of hiring a lawyer. Knowing the potential costs of lawyer ahead of time is crucial to knowing whether or not hiring a lawyer is the right move for you.
There are essentially 4 ways a lawyer can charge a client for legal services:
- By the hour;
- Flat fee;
- Contingency fee; or
- Blended fee comprising some combination of hourly, flat and/or contingency.
Hourly is the most common and traditional form of attorney billing. However, anyone who has ever hired an attorney by the hour knows how quickly a legal bill can get out of hand.
Because debt collection lawsuits usually involve relatively small amounts of money, say a few thousand dollars, if a consumer is billed by the hour he or she can easily end up paying more to the lawyer than the debt collector was trying to collect. For this reason, we charge flat fees in debt defense case. Flat fees enable out client to predict ahead of time what the case will cost and avoid legal bill sticker shock.
Flat fee arrangements have become a popular and reasonable billing arrangement in debt collection defense cases. However, unlike most law-firms, instead of charging one upfront flat fee, we charge smaller flat fees and different stages of a case avoiding a windfall for us. For example, if you hired us on a Monday paying a full flat fee, and we resolved your case the next day, we didn’t earn that full fee and so you shouldn’t have had to pay it. Instead, our flat fee payments are scheduled at various points in a case where we are required to expend more of our time on your case. If the case is resolved at an earlier stage, you avoid those later stage fees.
Similar to debt defense, we charge for bankruptcy cases based upon flat fees. The flat fees charged depend upon the type and complexity if your bankruptcy case. The average fee for a no asset chapter 7 bankruptcy if $1,500 in legal fees plus 335.00 for the case filing fee, as well as costs for Credit Counseling and a Debtor Education Courses.
Consumer Protection – Fee Shifting Cases
In contingency fee cases, the lawyer’s fees are contingent upon some success for the client. Contingency fees are most familiar in personal injury cases where the attorney usually earns 33% of the settlement or verdict. However, contingency fees are also common in consumer rights cases. Most consumer rights laws like the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) are “fee shifting” meaning that if successful; the defendant pays the consumer’s legal fees. Our firm takes all consumer rights case on a contingency basis where the client doesn’t pay us any out of pocket fees or costs.
OUR FEES – DOING WELL BY DOING GOOD:
Many of our clients come to us under some financial distress. Be it a job loss, a cut back in shifts, a disability or just a bump in the road, we understand that bad things often happen to good people. We don’t judge our clients’ life decisions; we just help as best we can to navigate those troubled waters.
With this thought in mind, we have structured our legal fees around the mantra of doing well by doing good. Put another way, if we can earn a decent living helping consumers, then we can continue to be there to offer those same services to others. With that in mind our fees are as follows:
- DEBT DEFENSE: $800 – $2,400.00[*]
- BANKRUPTCY: $1,500.00 for a no-asset Chapter 7 case[†]
- CONSUMER PROTECTION: In fee-shifting, consumer protection cases, we do not charge our clients any out of pocket legal fees. [‡]
If you have questions or concerns regarding how we charge for legal services, we urge you to contact The Law Offices of Robert J. Nahoum, P.C. today by calling 845-232-0202.
[*] Based on routine flat fee charges subject to change on a case-by-case basis.
[†] Based on routine flat fee charges subject to change on a case-by-case basis.
[‡] Fees are usually based on a blended contingency and hourly fee basis.