I have practiced Bankruptcy law in Bakersfield now for over 30 years. The quality of law practiced by me and my colleagues serving Kern and Inyo counties is high. I have seen problems arise from time to time and almost always, it is a result of a breakdown in communication. These questions are important to ask your lawyer before you decide who to hire.

How much do you charge? I typically charge a flat fee that covers the entire case. Extra work may be required in your case, for example, if a judgment lien needs to be removed from your home. Typically, the flat fee in a simple case is $1,500 to $1,800). Business cases require more attorney time, and consequently the fees are higher. You will get a truthful estimate of the cost when we meet

Do you accept payments? I do. We will work out a payment arrangement. All I ask is that the fee is paid in full prior to filing your case. This avoids a conflict. If there is an emergency that requires an immediate filing, we will try our best to resolve the problem

Do I get a refund if I change my mind? Under California law, you are entitled to a refund of unearned fees. I will explain your rights during our initial consultation

Do you charge for an initial consultation? No

Will I be able to talk to the attorney whenever I want? Yes. Although often there are simple non-legal reasons for a call and my assistant is extremely capable in taking care of you.

Are there additional charges for credit reports, credit counseling, reaffirmation agreements, extra time in court? Usually, no. My flat fee includes those things. However, from time to time there might be an issue, but it will be identified to you in time for you to make a decision.

Will you represent me if a creditor objects or other party-in-interest objects to something? Yes. I have extensive experience in Bankruptcy litigation. Your case in all likelihood will be simple. But if I see a red flag, we’ll discuss it in time for you to make a decision. Finally, this advice is not in the form of one question. But you need to know if your attorney will be objective.

Will you pressure me into filing? No

Will you tell me when is the best time to file? Yes

Will you tell me if I don’t have to file? Yes