Do you provide free legal services?
No. There are programs that provide free legal services. Those programs are usually only available to people with income at or below 125% of the federal poverty level. Our charitable mission is to help the people who make too much money to qualify for free legal services. The way we do that is by offering legal services on a "sliding scale" with prices tied to your income and household size.
Okay, so what is this going to cost?
We use your household size (the number of people that make up your household, including you) and your annual household income (the total amount of money the people in your household earn in a year) to determine whether or not we can help you in the first place. The chart below should help give you a rough idea of what to expect.
The top row of the chart tells you what percentage of the federal poverty level your household income falls into. The column on the far left of the chart is your household size. Finally, the bottom row of the chart is the amount we will charge you per hour (if your case is the kind we handle on an hourly basis). For example, if you had a household with 4 people in it, and your annual household income was $35,000, we would charge you $85 per hour.
Please be aware that this is just the cost for our time. There may be other costs involved - for example, you might have to pay a fee to file paperwork with the court.
If you decide to hire us, you will usually have to put down the first ten hours worth of money upfront. So, going with the example above, that person with the 4-person household and annual income of $35,000 would need to put down $850 to hire us. We will hold that money "in trust" for you, and will bill against the money as we do work for you. Over time, if there is still work to be done, you will be asked to replenish your trust account so there is still money there to bill against.
There are some legal services we charge a flat fee for instead of billing you by the hour. As long as your household size and annual household income puts you anywhere on the chart (above), you will qualify to pay our flat fee amount for those services.
What flat fee services are available?
We offer the following flat fee services:
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: For $835 we put together and file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, and represent you until your case closes. This includes the filing fee, but does not include credit counseling/financial management course fees, or representation in adversary proceedings.
- Last Will and Testament: For $150 we put together a Will, General Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, and Living Will. If you are married and we can represent both spouses, we will prepare two Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Living Wills for $250.
- Revocable Living Trust: For $750 we put together a Revocable Living Trust. If you are married and we can represent both spouses, we will prepare a Joint Revocable Living Trust.
- Succession by affidavit: For $150 we will put together a Small Estate Affidavit for Personal Property. For $300 we will put together a Small Estate Affidavit for Real Property. This does not include any relevant filing fees or recording fees (required for real property affidavits, but not for personal property affidavits).
Anything not listed above will be billed on an hourly rate.
How can I pay?
We accept cash, all four major credit cards, checks, money orders, and cashier's checks for nearly all of our services. The only exception to this rule are payments for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy cases. If you are filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case we will only accept cash, money orders, or cashier's checks as payment.
I think I understand, but I'm still not sure!
That is okay! Call us - we are happy to explain to you how our fees work and will likewise be happy to discuss it with you when we meet. We know it is important to understand what everything costs so you can budget appropriately for it, so we will be very upfront with you about costs.