If you are in the process of hiring an attorney to represent you through your bankruptcy case, you are going to need to sign a bankruptcy retainer agreement. A bankruptcy retainer agreement sets forth both you and your attorney's responsibilities concerning your case. Here are four things that you need to make sure are included in your agreement.
#1: Breakdown of All Fees
One of the most important components of your retainer agreement is the formal breakdown of fees. For bankruptcy cases, most attorneys require you to pay them a flat fee for their service. The amount of this fee that you need to pay your attorney up front, as well as when future payments are expected, should be stated in the agreement.
Other fees that should be covered in the agreement include court costs and a credit-report fee. Your agreement should allow you to see the total cost of all fees and court costs for going through with your bankruptcy case.
#2: All Services That Are Covered
Next, your agreement should detail all of the legal services that your attorney will provide you with. Typical services include things such as filling out and filing the paperwork for your case and meeting with your creditors at your 341 hearing.
#3: Additional Services Not Covered By Your Fees
Your bankruptcy retainer agreement should also clearly state what type of legal services that your attorney will not provide for the fee set forth in the document. Depending on how your case progresses, you may need additional legal services, such as:
- adversary proceedings
- opposing motions
- motions to avoid liens
- bankruptcy paperwork amendments
It should be clearly stated what services your attorney will not cover and what the additional fee for those services be should you need them so you know up front what these services would cost you.
4: Any Outsourcings on Your Case
Finally, if any work on your case will be outsourced to any other lawyers, this information should be detailed in your agreement. Your agreement should clearly state whether you are okay with other attorneys working on your case or only want to work with the attorney who is on file for your case.
If you agree to allow other attorneys to work on your case, make sure that your agreement states who will accompany you to your court hearings. You want the attorney on file and not an appearance counsel whose only responsibility in your case is to stand by your side during your court hearings. Make sure that this is covered in your agreement as well. For more information, talk to a professional such as Todaro David M Co LPA.