HOW MUCH ARE FORECLOSURE DEFENSE ATTORNEY FEES?
There are two main systems for billing in foreclosure cases that I have seen:
Flat rate, and
The problem with the flat rate is that the borrower must generally pay it up front, which is hard for many people to do.
When it comes to an hourly rate, many people are scared that the attorney will charge them for items that are not wanted – or for items that aren’t really work at all (e.g. – duplicative/redundant work, “personal” talk on the telephone with the client, etc.).
To me, the most important thing to ask an attorney is how many he or she can do of the following:
Obtain a modification, short sale, short pay off or “cash for keys,”
Have the foreclosure action dismissed temporarily or forever,
Have the Mortgage rescinded (i.e. – voided and removed from the public record),
Have money paid to the bank previously refunded to you,
Have the bank pay your attorney fees in the foreclosure action.
The more of these your attorney can do, the more you should pay him or her. And let me say – if you have a good attorney who knows this field in minute detail, make sure you pay him or her. It’s money very well spent. Think of it as an investment…
Many attorneys, if they are submitting an Answer in the action and appearing at “2 foreclosure settlement conferences” on your behalf will charge you a flat fee of anywhere from $3,000.00 to $6,000.00. (Ask if work done regarding a possible modification is included in that flat fee.) Any work besides that just mentioned will require the payment of further flat fees, respectively.
Other attorneys will often charge an hourly rate of anywhere from $250.00 to $400.00 per hour.
People often think they are saving money by paying a flat fee, but it is not always the case. Sometimes an attorney can perform a piece of work so quickly that you would save money by paying an hourly rate. If it takes the attorney only a half hour to do something, you might have over-payed by paying a flat fee. A flat fee averages out to a large hourly rate, in that instance – sometimes a larger rate than you would ever consider paying – like $600 an hour, say. Instead of a flat fee of $1,000.00, you would save money by paying an hourly rate of $300.00 for a half hour’s work. Instead, you could effectively pay an hourly rate of $2,000.00 per hour (without knowing it) by paying a flat fee.