MITCHELL LAW OFFICE
Our main office is located at 1318 W Main
Street in Collinsville, a half-mile west of
H169 and a half-dozen east of H75.
It is on the north side of Main Street, aka
146th Street N, aka Highway 20W, just
west of the Collinsville stop lights, across
from the Baptist Church and right beside
the local State Farm agent. It's our own
stand-alone building, with parking in front.
Paperwork may be dropped off during
business hours on M, W, or F, and
appointments may be scheduled on
weekdays and, at mutually-convenient
times, on evenings or weekends.
How much does it cost total?
That depends. It depends upon how many jobs you and any spouse, regardless of whether that spouse
is filing with you, currently work. It is $999 + $100 per job. Also, if you are not self-employed or
have been within the last 2 years, that matters too, counting as a job, $100 per business. Prior to
your retaining me, explain your job and income situation to me, and I can give you a straight answer.
Do you pay the court filing fee out of the money I give you?
Do you run and pay for a credit report out of the money I give you?
Yes. I run one, single person or married couple, with a service called Credit Infonet which pulls
information from 2 of the 3 credit bureaus, Experian and Transunion. It does not pull Equifax, who
hardly ever list anything the other two do not have. If you want an Equifax credit report, you wil
need to run it yourself. I pay $30 for a single person's credit report and $40 for a married
couple's credit report out of the money you give that goes to me.
How much do I have to pay you upfront?
I prefer to have the entire flat fee upfront, but receive that less than half the time. For half (1/2)
of whatever your total retainer amount happens to be (at least $500), I will meet with you, tell
creditors who contact me that I have been retained to do your bankruptcy, and deal with questions
you have about how to handle creditors in the meantime, for a period of up to 3 months, while you
are trying to produce the remaining fee. Further within about 4 to 12 days of receipt of that
payment and the necessary information and documentation I need from you to prepare your
paperwork, then I will prepare all of that paperwork and submit it to you for your review and
approval. Once you have paid any remaining balance and paid me in full, I will make any necessary
revisions to the paperwork, electronically file the case, obtain a court date and later go to Court
with you on the case. Please understand that I will not "file" your case until you have paid me in
full. There is no payment plan where your case gets filed now and then you make payments. Why
not? First of all, your filing bankruptcy because you cannot pay your debts, so I should not safely
assume you be actually make your payments to me. Secondly, because exception for certain
exceptions Chapter 7 discharges all pre-petition debt, I would be a fool without any collection
remedy if I were not paid in full prior to filing the case. If you did not pay off your balance you
had agreed to after the case was already filed, I would be prohibited by law from bothering you
about it or trying to collect, just as the other creditors are prohibited from doing so. For this
reason, I will not file the case until the total fee has been paid to me; and you should be cautious if
considering retaining any attorney who is willing to allow you to make such payments because such
attorney is either a fool for doing so or someone who breaks the law by harassing those he or she is
attempting to help get out of debt.
How much do I have to pay before you will file it?
The entire fee. There are a number of reasons why I must wait until the entire fee has been made
and why I cannot allow you to make payments after the bankruptcy is filed. First, I use $299.00 of
the money you give me to pay to the Court for the filing fee, which is quite a chunk of money.
Secondly, most of the work I do is done before the case is ever filed. Reviewing the documentation
you provide to me and preparing the paperwork are very time-consuming tasks, where as going to
Court and post-filing work is not so. Third, your filing bankruptcy because you cannot pay your
debts, so I should not safely assume you be actually make your payments to me. Finally, because
exception for certain exceptions Chapter 7 discharges all pre-petition debt, I would be a fool
without any collection remedy if I were not paid in full prior to filing the case. If you did not pay
off your balance you had agreed to after the case was already filed, I would be prohibited by law
from bothering you about it or trying to collect, just as the other creditors are prohibited from
doing so. For this reason, I will not file the case until the total fee has been paid to me; and you
should be cautious if considering retaining any attorney who is willing to allow you to make such
payments because such attorney is either a fool for doing so or someone who breaks the law by
harassing those he or she is attempting to help get out of debt.
Do you have a money-back guarantee?
Yes, but only to this extent: If your bankruptcy filed under Chapter 7 is converted to Chapter 13
or just outright dismissed, I will give you a full refund of what you have paid me. Because I will
refund you all your money, I will ultimately end up paying the $306 court filing fee and losing not
only time but $306 worth of money on the case. In over 1,000 Chapter 7 bankruptcies, I have
never had a case converted to a Chapter 13 and have had only 4 cases get dismissed, which occurred
due to one client's false statement and another's failure to ever come to Court and two client's
voluntary choice to dismiss. I am supposed to say, however, that past performances does not
guarantee future results. But, yes, if your bankruptcy were dismissed due to a fault of mine and nor
yours, such as your committing fraud, failing to disclose something obviously significant to me, or
failing to appear at court, then I will give you a full refund.
Does a married couple cost more than a single person?
It depends. If your spouse does not work, then no. If so, then yes, as I charge an additional
$100.00 per source of income from any current job or any business you or your spouse has now or
has had in the last 2 years.
If I am self-employed does that count as a 'job' so that I have to pay the extra $100?
Yes. A self-employed person, in my mind, is someone who has been a sole proprietor or partner of a
business or a director or owner of a corporation or LLC or who otherwise has had a business or
been self-employed within the last 2 years. The term even applies if the Client is married, the
Client's spouse is not filing bankruptcy, and only the Client's spouse was self-employed and not the
client. Why? Because such a situation requires more work on my part.
Do you accept payment by credit card?
Yes, but not Discover or American Express. I ACCEPT VISA AND MASTERCARD ONLY. Also, if
you have a PayPal account at www.paypal.com you may pay through that, and I believe they do allow
an account to be set up with other credit cards, such as American Express. My registered e-mail
address with them, to which you would need to direct payment, is [email protected]
However, I strongly discourage you from using your own credit card payment to pay me just before
filing bankruptcy, as that last-minute charge may later be deemed non-dischargeable and you may
still owe that after bankruptcy. If you wish to use someone else's card, I will need to obtain a
written and verbal recorded authorization from the person who is the account holder of the card.
What does credit counseling cost? Do you pay for that out of what I pay you?
Currently, the total of the two required courses for a single person or couple ranges anywhere from
$20 to $100 for a single person or couple filing bankruptcy. Online credit counseling is
significantly cheaper than credit counseling done over the phone or in person. These more expensive
types of credit counseling cost more for a couple filing jointly than a single person, but most online
sites do not charge any additional amounts for a couple filing jointly and are overall less expensive
anyway. That amount includes both courses, of which the first course comprises about two-thirds of
that amount and the second course about one-third of that amount. How much you pay depends on
which agency you use. The agencies set their own fees. And NO, I do not pay for it out of the money
you give me. Typically, it is the only additional expense you must pay for on your own. The agency
you use can inform you of the cost in advance.
If I change my mind about filing bankruptcy after I have retained you but before you have filed,
will I get any of my money back?
Not if I have already done the paperwork. In that case, I will keep whatever you have paid up to
$500, and you will get back (refunded) any amount you paid over $500. However, you should
expect up to two full weeks to receive that refund in such a case.
Will you run a credit report for me?
Yes, and I will pay for it. I use a service called Credit InfoNet which uses Experian and Transunion
to form its credit report and score.
Can I make payments to you? How does that work?
In a way. Not in the sense that you can pay some small amount such as $100 per month, but more
like $500 one month and the remaining balance the next. You are going to have to pay me in full
before I will file your case. Also, you are going to have to pay at least $500 before I will accept
your case and begin working on it, and that is why I cannot accept small monthly payments: If I did,
your information would become outdated prior to filing your bankruptcy, and we would have to redo
all the paperwork. After you make your initial payment, I will then prepare your paperwork and
send it to you. Usually you receive the completed bankruptcy paperwork in the mail from me, for
you to approve, approximately one week after meeting with me and/or providing me with all the
documentation I need to prepare your bankruptcy. See my Client Interview Form and Agreement,
specifically the Agreement part of that document, for more details.
What happens to money I give you other than the filing fee?
It goes to me for my hard work.
I want to do the bankruptcy myself. Will you give me the forms?
No. I am an attorney operating a law office seeking to represent you, not some unlicensed person
seeking to make money in the legal arena from people who wish to try to do their own bankruptcies.
Fortunately, I have a law license and a juris doctorate degree. Unfortunately, however, I incurred
substantial student loans and worked through college and law school for more than 7 years to obtain
this degree and this license. Like most of you, I have bills to pay; unlike you, I cannot get out of
paying them by filing bankruptcy.
I am not in Oklahoma. Can you represent me?
Probably not. You need to have resided in Oklahoma for at least 6 months to establish residency.
You must have residency in order to file bankruptcy in Oklahoma. Even if you have just moved
out-of-state after residing here for more than 6 months, you would have to travel back to go to
Court here and should probably consider waiting until you have established residency elsewhere and
file your bankruptcy there.
Is court always in the county where I live?
No. Bankruptcy courts are divisions of the federal court system. Consequently, they have nothing to
do with your local county or district court. There are only three federal districts in Oklahoma. I
can tell you where you will go to Court if you tell me the town in which you live.
Is there anything I can do to make things move faster?
There is an entire webpage devoted to Preparing to File" on this website. Please check it out.
Your office is far from me. Must I travel to retain you?
No. Perhaps you do not feel like doing the drive. If so, we can do the initial paperwork and retainer
agreement by mail, and after that we can conduct all communications by telephone, mail, and/or
e-mail. I have several out-of-state and long-distance clients, or clients who are in the local and
Tulsa metropolitan area but who just do not feel like taking the time to travel to my office. In fact,
I have several out-of-state clients who have never actually set foot in my office, many of whom I
will never meet in person. If a document needs to be signed, I can mail it to you with a return
envelope enclosed, and you can sign it and mail it back to me. In the alternative, I can e-mail it to
you, and you can print it out and sign it and mail it back to me--whatever works best for you.
Do you take faraway cases? If so, do you charge extra?
Yes to the first question, and no to the second. How far you live from my office is irrelevant to me
since I will not have to travel to your residence. Rather, that all depends on whether or not you are
willing to travel to see me or if you are comfortable with simply conducting business by mail. As far
as my physical distance from any of the courts or creditor meetings locations, you need not worry
about that either. I can always decline to take a case if I wish, and I generally turn down cases for
people residing in the Lawton area or Southwestern corner of the state, since the drive to the
creditor's meeting in Lawton is quite long for me. But I regularly go to Tulsa and Okmulgee and also
to Oklahoma City and Enid.
In what bankruptcy courts and locations have you appeared?
All of them in this state. I have appeared at all three bankruptcy courts in Oklahoma and at every
existing creditor's meeting location of which I am aware.
What are the "Districts," and how do I know mine?
"Northern District," "Eastern District," and "Western District" are designated areas based upon
federal-court jurisdiction. I can tell you which district you are in if you tell me the town in which
you live. Also, if you review my descriptions under the various districts' credit counseling
downloadable links on my "Ready to File" page, you might gain a better understanding of what
district is where and perhaps which district you live in.
What court-approved credit counseling agencies are currently available?
You can find a list of the them on my "Preparing to File" page.
So do I need to do my credit counseling before I come see you?
No. You just need to do the pre-petition credit counseling before we can file your bankruptcy.
Typically, I provide you with an up-to-date list of available agencies when you retain me, and within
the week after that you get your credit counseling done while I am preparing your bankruptcy
So what is the "financial management" course? Are there two different counseling sessions?
Yes. The pre-petition counseling is done before bankruptcy. The financial management part of it
you do not worry about until later. You get that done after you have filed bankruptcy and no later
than 45 days after your scheduled court date. Neither session typically takes more than a few
hours of your time. I can answer questions you may have about the process.
What on earth is a "debt-relief agency"? I want an attorney, not that.
An attorney is and can be a debt-relief agency. A debt-relief agency is an agency or person who
assists others in the bankruptcy process. It is a term that Congress created when they passed the
Bankruptcy Reform Act in October, 2005. In my opinion, it is an annoying term. Regardless, we are
supposed to use it. But do not let it confuse you. Yes, I am a debt-relief agency; but also, yes, I am
a real attorney with a real law office and two office locations.
What are the "Section 527 Disclosures"?
They are disclosures that under the Bankruptcy Reform Act passed in October, 2005, a
debt-relief agency or bankruptcy attorney is bound to make/disclose to potential clients. I make
them here on line. They appear on the General Info page and are downloadable from the
Ready-to-Retain page as well. Looking at my colleagues' sites online, I do not see the disclosures
posted. On some, I do not even see the required "We are a Debt Relief Agency" acting under the
"Bankruptcy Code" language that is required in advertisements. That is unfortunate for these
attorneys and debt-relief agencies, since they can be sanctioned by the Court for failure to make
the disclosures and using this language, as they are violating the law. Do NOT use an attorney who
advises you to lie or commit fraud or to be untruthful with the Court, as there may be grave
consequences. If the attorney or agency you select is to lazy to require that you read the Section
527 disclosures, take the initiative to read them yourself. Also, review your bankruptcy paperwork
carefully before you sign it. Make sure the information in it is truthful and accurate.
How many Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases have you filed? How many of those went through
successfully to discharge?
I'm surely over 1,000 by now, here in 2013. To my knowledge, All but 8 cases went through. Of
those, people changed their mind after filing, due to getting a good job after filing or suddenly
having ethical problems with the bankruptcy process itself, and chose to voluntarily dismiss their
cases. Also, on one my client disappeared and never showed up for Court. On the remaining ones, my
clients failed to timely complete their 2nd credit course and so their bankruptcy discharge was
denied; although those clients could have retained me to do a motion to reopen and see their
bankruptcy cases through to discharge for half the cost of their bankruptcy, they never did so.
Frequently Asked Questions
A large list of frequently-asked questions appears below, with answers to each.