What can I expect to pay the attorney if I file for bankruptcy?

May 15th, 2012

Many people hate the idea of going to an attorney and are more nervous about dealing with the attorney than they are about filing for bankruptcy protection. Unfortunately, attorneys have a reputation of not doing what they say they will.  Sometimes, they don’t even explain the whole process or costs to the client.

If you are in the situation of needing bankruptcy counsel, or any counsel for that matter, it’s best to get a referral from someone you know and then do some amount of interviewing of the prospective attorney in an initial consultation. If the attorney doesn’t explain the process, the costs, and the time frame that the process will take, then simply look elsewhere for someone to help with your problem.

I am as open and upfront on the process and cost as I can be, because if  you are a person in dire straights and need bankruptcy counsel, then you need clear answers to your questions and clear expectations on the process that will happen. I will state my costs here to simply give you an idea of what should be paid. I am not the cheapest, by any means, but I’m also not the most expensive.  We attempt to charge enough to do a great job for our clients using our trained staff, who can put time into doing and explaining the process. Just like in other areas of life, most times you get what you pay for. I quote my price for a single bankruptcy Chapter 7 filer as being $1,500 in total, which includes the court filing fees, the credit counseling fees, and the credit reporting fees (these fees total almost $400 and are included in my pricing). If  the client is filing a joint Chapter 7 bankruptcy with their spouse, then the charge in total is $1,750, with once again, the credit counseling and reporting fees and the court filing fees included.  I understand that although I’ve gone through this process many times, it is most likely your first time, so I try to treat this part of the relationship as open and as clearly as I can and explain the cost as if I were the person going through the bankruptcy.

Call my office to set up your consultation today.   Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Bankruptcy Attorneys – You get what you pay for and sometimes you get far less!

May 14th, 2012

I have had clients who have gone to “cut rate” or “bottom feeding” attorneys, who have charged little to nothing.  Remember you get what you pay for.  If the bankruptcy is filed incorrectly, you could lose assets and be held liable for the work of the lackluster attorney. Many times these people become clients after they find out the attorney they chose is not really able to handle this very sensitive stage of their life. These clients come to me to complete the process or correct it for them. I have heard clients say, “We should have paid you to do it.  That other attorney didn’t know what he was doing.”  One time, I even had to tell the client that the attorney he went to, who didn’t follow through, was in bankruptcy himself!  Go to a reputable attorney.  Don’t end up paying twice.

Call my office to set up your consultation today.  Todd Courser 810-245-0813

IRS Tax Help: Amended returns and disputes: Part 3

January 27th, 2016

iStock_000000187115Small2This is Todd Courser and we have talked about the income tax return. I am an attorney in Lapeer, Michigan. I do tax resolution work resolving problems with the Internal Revenue Service and making a series of videos just to educate people on what I found from past experience. You really should get good legal counsel. These videos really are just to inform people you should attorney who actually works will work with Internal Revenue Service. To resolve your tax problems, there are very few that do it and of the crowd  there are even less good at it .

Once we have a dispute, most returns are fixed through the amended process. If you have issues beyond this, meaning the dispute is greater and you are not able to serve corrected, and it is not going anywhere, we are going to talk about what that looks like. Now this is in the simplified area of the CP2000. If you are not able to do the amount of return and its rejected or something like that, now you are dealing with calling Internal Revenue Services over the phone. Or you are going to do an in-person. At your in person meeting, you are going to try and resolve the issues related to the dispute.

Now this deals with just the simple administrative steps to try and resolve your problems. In the next the next video we are going to talk about audit and appeals. Then we are going to deal with collections, which everybody dreads. I guess everything about the Internal Revenue Services everybody dreads, but we will try and do a good job and correcting some of the issues for people. They can really advocate for themselves better and also when they are speak to attorney in regards to their problems they have a better understanding of the process involved.

Bankruptcy: 6th Appointment

January 26th, 2016

The last step we talked about was the 341 hearing. It is dreaded for the debtors to go through. If you have done everything back here, and you qualify, and you have listed everything, and in the process your petition is clean and straight, and everything correctly noted and signed, the 341 hearing shouldn’t be a big deal. Be honest and tell the truth. Walk through those steps make sure you are working with an attorney who will actually go to the hearing themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

Bankruptcy: 5th Appointment

January 26th, 2016

This is the unique step in this set of videos. I am doing a walk through of the bankruptcy process.  Also, I am going to do some of this for the state planning process and tax and really uniquely tax resolution. I am talking about the audit and a situation with just the IRS collection process. We will see how you can work to try and resolve your tax issues. In these videos, we are focused more on the bankruptcy. We have talked about the initial consultation  in video one. In video two we have talked about the second appointment and video three we talked about the signing the petition. In video 4 we talked about the filing date and how important that is. Now, in video five, we are talking about what’s called the 341 hearing. Read the rest of this entry »

IRS Tax Resolution: Amend a return or not?

January 26th, 2016

My name is Todd Courser. I do tax resolution work here in Michigan. I am an attorney and an accountant and have been doing IRS resolution work and also state of issue resolution work for many years. Back probably 18 or 19 years of resolving internal revenue services problems. Inside of this we are looking at we have talked about the idea of the IRS lets you know and they have identified that there are issues with the returning usually through the third party verification and so at that point you are either paying and you might dispute or agree but is just isn’t worth fighting. You write a cheque to pay one of the ways to do that is to of course to write a cheque or it’s to do an instalment agreement. We left that part out, but those are your two options.

Basically you pay whatever you owe. If you are not going to pay it, then you are disputing it.  This is always of course looking at the the fact that you owe and you are disputing it. Essentially at that point you are going to need to decide how exactly to do that if you simply can provide the evidence of course to as a basis to your dispute then provide the evidence and send it back and whatever fashion or form that is required to be able to document that in reality the Internal Revenue Service’s got this wrong when they say that you owe.

Generally that’s done on what they call 1040X it’s a filling an amended return. It’s an amended return to your 1040. You are going to amend your personal return and correct the issues. That’s the way that happens most things will get resolved one either one you will just pay it in cheque form some people won’t be able to do that they will put in place an instalment agreement. Some will choose to dispute, low level dispute they will simply provide the evidence and do 1040 and they will correct the return ok. We are going to talk about what happens when that isn’t possible or there is some other issues involved to it in the next video.


Bankruptcy: 4th Appointment

January 26th, 2016

Bankruptcy StepsThis is the fourth video in, I am doing the each of the process parts of the various practice areas I am involved in including tax, bankruptcy, state planning we will do some on other more unique situations that I have run into so this is the fourth video.

The first one we did on the initial consultation just talking about chapter 7 versus chapter 13 talking about income expenses assets liabilities and qualifications for the bankruptcy and you should work with a good attorney really who is good at explaining this thing sand in the initial consultation and walk you through the process so that you get a good result at the other end.

The second appointment is really on you in making sure you have done an adequate more than adequate job on the questionnaire filling out the information bringing all the relevant documents from the list doing the credit counselling the interview and of course your first payment. Read the rest of this entry »

Bankruptcy: 3rd Appointment

January 25th, 2016

Bankruptcy StepsThe third appointment obviously follows the second appointment follows the initial  consultation which we covered in video 1 the initial consultation talking about income expenses, assets and liabilities and that you qualify and you to qualify in the income side and we can talk about those tests later and then you have to also have the correct expenses meaning allowable expenses until you either qualify for a chapter 7 or chapter 13 we really focussed on these videos the chapter 7 and I will talk a little bit about chapter 13 difference a little later on. Read the rest of this entry »

Bankruptcy: 2nd Appointment

October 27th, 2015

Bankruptcy StepsWe are doing a series of videos related to the bankruptcy process. We did the initial consultation and now we are moving forward with video two which talks about the second appointment.

In the first appointment, we are talking about your income, assets, liabilities and your assets. When we are looking at that, we make sure that they fit together and whether bankruptcy is an option. Read the rest of this entry »

CP2000 Letter from the IRS: What are your options?

September 29th, 2015


If you have an IRS issue, you have a few ways to resolve it. For the most part, 4 out of 5 IRS issues that you have, the IRS is notifying you that you have a problem. They usually do that in order to just label it the CP2000 for administrative purposes. I am not going to  so not going to spend a lot of time on this, but essentially this is the administrative letter to let you know that there is a problem with your return, either it is to the positive or negative. If it positive we really don’t worry about it. If it is to the negative, obviously that becomes an issue.

What I am going to do here is really kind of talk about the various parts. You have the CP2000 so we are just going to talk about the “pay moment.” Essentially they come in and they say that there is a negative amount and you owe it. So from there you have to determine what you are going to…

  1. Simply pay it. You may really be in dispute meaning you don’t like the number they give you or you may agree. At that point you are determining that the best course of action for you is to pay. It might be because of the cost of fighting it is too high. It may be that your documentation is poor. It may be because the time and money in dealing with it just isn’t worth the effort. Consider the energy it will take to resist the collections or the effort to defend yourself — you might just pay.
  2. The other way is to decide to dispute it. If you are going to dispute it, you have to bring forward your evidence.

The CP2000 is generally triggered from third party verification. A third party verification that tells the IRS that there is an issue.

Bankruptcy 101: Chapters 7 and 13 Explained | 1st Appointment

September 23rd, 2015

Final NoticeIn the initial consultation what we are dealing with is trying to determine if it’s a chapter 7 or chapter 13.  Chapter 7 is a discharge of debt. You are asking the court to discharge the debts you are unable to pay. Generally, we are looking at unsecured debts. You can discharge secured debts house or car or other assets if you are willing to give those assets up. That’s the normal way that would happen. Read the rest of this entry »

How Much Does Probate Cost?

July 11th, 2014

How much does probate cost?  This is a question that can’t be answered without knowing all the facts involved.  If there are few assets, the cost will be less.  If the estate is large or complicated, if the will is deemed invalid or if the will is contested, the cost of probate will be much higher.

We do our best to keep your costs down, but unfortunately, the costs can sometimes seem high to clients.  It is best to find an attorney that you can trust to work through your probate as efficiently as possible.

We are there to help.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813