I met with a bk attorney today to discuss chapter 7 and went ahead and paid the retainer:
I currently have a secured credit card with First Progress for $300 that I've had for 4-5 years now and never bothered to close. It has a zero balance. I will not be including it in my filings. My question is, will it continue to report to the bureaus in good standing after I file? I don't imagine they will close my account being that it is still secured.
Also, does $3500 sounds high for an attorney fee for chapter 7? Mine should be simple: no kids, not married, all debts are current, no judgments, no assets, etc.
I'm dreading the process, but I appreciate the knowledge of this forum!
You include all accounts in your filing, whether or not you owe. This is a fraud protection, basically. The trustee wants to know any and everything you have, to make sure everything looks kosher by their standards so you can move forward.
Your account may or may not survive the BK. Some creditors close the account when they hear you are filing. Some wait until discharge and then close it (frustratingly!) and others, will keep it open. There is no way to tell. You could ask your atty whether it is ok to contact First Progress to ask them if they will be keeping the account open, and to plead your case (zero balance, if you were never late or only once late or whatever). And do your best to get that deposit back! although check with your atty on that too, because you may have to list that for the trustee also :-| (every trustee seems to have slightly different preferences)
$3500 does sound high to me, but fees do vary around the country. If you like your attorney a lot, I would just stay where you are. If you don't like the attorney themselves, I would immediately look into the contract cooling off period laws in your state. You have a limited amount of time and you may be able to get out of the retainer (I repeat, MAY).
ETA: But then there's no going back to that atty, and you have to start the search for another. So again, if you do like this one... I personally, would just stay there.
Best of luck!!
Please check with your attorney on whether you must include this card or not. In my jurisdiction, my attorney said it was acceptable to NOT list cards with a $0 balance. So I didn't list them, and they were immediately closed anyway. Some suggest voluntarily closing accounts before filing so that they don't report as "included in bankruptcy." For sure the security deposit is an asset, which must also be scheduled.
I currently have a secured credit card with First Progress for $300 that I've had for 4-5 years now and never bothered to close. It has a zero balance. I will not be including it in my filings.