Credit Cards Center Credit cards from our partners
New Member
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎01-06-2013

Post-filing payment plan on attorney fees illegal (chapter 7)?

I've been in contact with two lawyers that I'm considering. One offers to file after only receiving the filing fee, with the remaining balance paid off in installments over a year. He's local so that's good. Not sure how much bankruptcy experience he has, doesn't advertise as having a lot, so I'm guessing not. 

The other is further away but has extensive experience and seems overall a great attorney. He told me the fees have to be paid in full before filing and that it's the law because of the automatic stay. So now I'm wondering if a post-filing payment plan is always illegal, or if it's possible to do what some do with keeping car payments after filing (reaffirming?). 

Valued Contributor
Posts: 3,406
Registered: ‎12-19-2012

Re: Post-filing payment plan on attorney fees illegal (chapter 7)?

A post filing payment plan is not illegal as a lot of folks don't have the money upfront to pay all the fees. I think my fees were around $700 and I had them included in the Ch 13 plan. Doing that is perfectly okay. Some attorneys don't want to be paid in installments, they want all the fees paid upfront. With a Ch 7, you have to pay the fees upfront as there is no repayment plan.
Cards: Orchard Bank ($1100) | Cap1 Cash Rewards ($2500) | Chase Freedom ($1000) | Best Buy ($2500) | Discover It ($1000) | Barclay Rewards ($2500) | Current scores: EX FAKO: 684, CK TU: 649, FICO EQ: 680, FICO TU: 698, FICO EX: 658 Happy Homeowner Since 2/6/13! Smiley Happy Last App: 4/5/13 Gardening until July 2014
Community Leader
Super Contributor
Posts: 7,451
Registered: ‎03-06-2010

Re: Post-filing payment plan on attorney fees illegal (chapter 7)?

For a Chapter 7 BK filing, all the fees have to be paid up front, before the BK is filed.


However, for a CH 13 the payment is partially paid up front and the balance is paid in the Ch 13 plan payment. That is normal.


If you are filing a BK 7, the fees have to be paid prior to filing. The attorney can't collect it afterward.

For the OP, IMO it's better to get an attorney that is familiar with the process so your BK runs smoothly. Going with an inexperienced BK attorney can be a recipe for disaster.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,063
Registered: ‎05-26-2010

Re: Post-filing payment plan on attorney fees illegal (chapter 7)?

I was represented by an attorney who only practiced BK and only in the court I had to file in.  I'm convinced that having a lot of experience in the court where you're filing is critical.  The laws are interpreted differently by different courts, and even the hot buttons for a particular trustee are important. 

BK7 Filed 8/11/2009 Discharged 11/23/2009. Purchased new home 4/11/2012
Starting Score:11/16/2009 EQ 566 11/16/2009 TU 538
Interim Score: 12/27/2012 EQ 683 09/17/2012 EX (lender) 670 1/01/2013 TU 701
Current Score: 11/06/2013 EQ 708 11/06/2013 EX 702 11/16/2013 702 11/06/2013 TU 729
Goal Score: EQ 740 EX 740 TU 740
Take the FICO Fitness Challenge

Forums posts are not provided or commissioned by FICO. Forums posts have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by FICO. It is not FICO's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The listings that appear on myFICO are from companies from which myFICO receives compensation, which may impact how and where products appear on myFICO (including, for example, the order in which they appear). myFICO does not review or include all companies or all available products.
† Credit cards for FICO Score ranges: The score ranges are guidelines based on internal myFICO analysis of actual applicant approvals, and having a FICO Score in a particular range does not guarantee you will be approved for credit cards recommended in that range. These ranges were not provided by any card issuer.

Copyright ©2001-2015 Fair Isaac Corporation. All rights reserved.   | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Sitemap

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: All FICO® Score products made available on include a FICO® Score 8, along with additional FICO® Score versions. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than the versions you receive from myFICO, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more

FICO, myFICO, Score Watch, The score lenders use, and The Score That Matters are trademarks or registered trademarks of Fair Isaac Corporation. Equifax Credit Report is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. and its affiliated companies. Many factors affect your FICO Score and the interest rates you may receive. Fair Isaac is not a credit repair organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Fair Isaac does not provide "credit repair" services or advice or assistance regarding "rebuilding" or "improving" your credit record, credit history or credit rating. FTC's website on credit.