Although our offices are open, we are still able to do all client meetings, court hearings, depositions, and mediations by phone or videoconferencing. This includes free, confidential consultations for new clients. Click here to watch our video on how we help clients during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The short Answer at Lawrence & Associates is that in most cases it costs $870 for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or $300 out of pocket for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, plus court fees of $335 for a Chapter 7 or $310 for a Chapter 13. In extremely complex or extremely simple cases our prices will vary but those cases are very rare.
In a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, What Do You Mean By Out of Pocket?
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Lawrence & Associates will end up getting $3,500 ultimately but the client will only have to pay us $300 out of pocket plus court fees. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the client never has to pay the full fee out of pocket. The remainder of the $3,500 fee that Lawrence & Associates gets is paid through the bankruptcy court.
How Are Court Fees Paid?
The client prepays the filing fee to Lawrence & Associates and then we pay the fee for them when we file.
What about Consultations and Retainers?
Initial Consultation are always free, with no obligation to sign up.
Sometimes you need us to act quickly and get the details later. In that case, we can be retained for $275 to start working on the bankruptcy immediately.
Presently student loans are non-dischargeable in a bankruptcy and it doesn’t seem that Congress is likely to change this rule anytime soon. The only way to get rid of a student loan is by paying it off.
Types of Student Loans…
Loans from the Federal Government – Loans from the federal government are typically low rate and the government is less likely to be aggressive when chasing debtors down for money.
Student Loans from Private Lenders – Private lenders of student loans are in most cases aggressive in collecting debts. These lenders can be a real nightmare to deal with.
Students Need To Be Careful About Taking More Loans Than They Need
A lot of students take out large loans that cover all tuition, rent, and living expenses for a semester, when they could take out just enough to cover tuition and work to pay their rent and living expenses, which is the better idea. Also, students need to look at the average earnings for graduates with a given degree and compare that to the amount of tuition going into that degree to see whether it is even possible to pay the loan back. There are many degrees obtained from high priced institutions where it is almost mathematically impossible to pay the loans back.
Next Steps for Those With Large Amounts of Student Loans?
Since you can’t discharge student loan debt, you would be best to just pay them. Maybe you can cut expenses enough to make this happen. This is your best option. For those who just can’t handle their other debts to enable them to pay down their student loans; chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy may be an option.
Immediate Relief For Pressing Financial Problems
Above all, do not ignore your financial problems or lawsuits that creditors bring against you. These issues will not disappear. Your best option is to contact a bankruptcy attorney at the first sign of financial distress. Even if you are facing immediate foreclosure, repossession or wage garnishment, Lawrence & Associates can provide swift legal action to help protect you. Your start to a fresh financial future begins when you contact the bankruptcy law firm of Lawrence & Associates. Our firm helps clients file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. When you work with our firm, we will take the time to fully explain your legal options and the bankruptcy process in an understandable way — not with complex legal jargon. We can also provide advice on how to stop creditor harassment, garnishment, foreclosure and repossessions.
Providing You With Debt Relief Solutions Through Bankruptcy
Regardless of the reasons that brought you to financial distress, filing for bankruptcy does not make you a bad person. In fact, the government created bankruptcy in order to help people recover from unmanageable financial problems. At Lawrence & Associates, we help our clients understand how bankruptcy laws are made to protect them and will allow for a brighter financial future.
St. Elizabeth Medical Center is the largest medical provider in Northern Kentucky, serving thousands of patients daily. In addition to its five area hospitals in Boone, Kenton, Campbell and Grant counties, St. Elizabeth also owns multiple medical practices in areas ranging from physical therapy to business health and women’s health. While St. Elizabeth can be a great force for good for the Northern Kentucky community, they are also known as an aggressive bill collector that will file lawsuits against its patients for collection of bills, or send bills to collection agencies. Even if you are insured, St. Elizabeth can file a lawsuit for the portion of your treatment bill that is not covered by insurance.
You Have the Right To Reduce or Eliminate Medical Bills
If this happens to you, as a Kentucky citizen you have rights to help reduce or even eliminate the medical bill in its entirety. This is especially important for medical costs, because unlike many other types of debt a medical bill can cost enormous amounts of money and can be totally unexpected for even the most diligent and reasonable person. I speak from experience – my son had complications at birth that caused medical bills of nearly a million dollars. We were fortunate that her employer had insurance to cover the vast majority of these bills, but many people are not that fortunate.
You Could Try to Negotiate Lower Payments
If St. Elizabeth (or any other medical provider) has sent your bill to collections or is suing you for full payment of the bill, don’t despair. You need to take action (and quickly!), but you do have options. First, be aware that you can often negotiate your medical bill down to a fraction of the total bill. This is because Northern Kentucky medical providers often bill from a “chargemaster”, which sets an arbitrary price for services the hospital provides. All health insurance companies, as well as Medicare and Medicaid, negotiate reduced rates from the chargemaster. For this reason, most medical providers don’t actually expect to receive the full amount of the bill they have given you, although it is quite rare for any Northern Kentucky medical provider to negotiate below the amount they have agreed to pay a health insurance company for any given treatment. If you want professional help negotiating down your medical bills, there is a cottage industry of people that are familiar with Medicare guidelines that can try to pressure health care providers into reducing their bills to a more reasonable amount. You can also try a debt consolidation company, and there are several that service the Northern Kentucky area or operate nationwide.
The Problem with Negotiators and Debt Consolidators
The central problem with both a private negotiator and a debt consolidation company, however, is that they have no power to force the medical provider to do anything. They are only asking permission. If an aggressive medical provider, such as St. Elizabeth, refuses to negotiate, you will have paid money to the negotiator or debt consolidation company for no result. Often, a medical provider that will not negotiate will decide to sue instead. Courts in Boone County, Kenton County, Grant County, Gallatin County and Campbell County routinely see such lawsuits and rarely – if ever – side with the patient. They are courts of law, not courts of fairness, and the law is on St. Elizabeth’s side.
Wiping Debts Clean with Chapter 7 Bunkruptcy
This is where a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be very important. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your medical debts will be wiped out completely. You can also choose a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, in which you would pay back a reasonable portion of the medical debt before having the remainder of the debt wiped out. The attorneys at Lawrence & Associates are skilled bankruptcy practitioners, and we have helped hundreds of people discharge medical debts and receive a fresh start on life. At our Fort Mitchell, Kentucky offices, Lawrence & Associates can counsel you on how to file bankruptcy, discharge the greatest amount of debt possible, keep all of your assets through the bankruptcy, and get control of your financial situation.
It is key to understand your rights when deciding to file for bankruptcy. If you are considering filing a bankruptcy, contact the experienced attorneys at Lawrence & Associates. We can help!
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