Hiring an excellent attorney isn't cheap, but it could differentiate between a few hours of community service, expensive fines, or jail time. Legal fees can be exorbitant, and it is not unheard of for people to ask, "Can you use a credit card to pay a lawyer?"
There are different options available to you if you don't have the cash to pay your attorney. The rest of this article will highlight various ways that you can pay your lawyer and how to get help paying for a lawyer.
Different Payment Methods To Pay Your Attorney
Your attorney establishes their hourly rate, and you pay for every hour that they spend working on your case.
In tort litigation cases such as personal injury cases, contingency fees refer to the payment made to your lawyer if they win your case. Your attorney gets to keep a previously agreed-on percentage of the cash winnings.
A retainer refers to the amount of money you pay to a lawyer upfront to draw their wages as they work on your case. If you are paying your lawyer on an hourly basis, they will ask you for a retainer. If there's money left at the end of the case, you get the balance back.
Fixed Flat Flees
If you've been wondering how to pay for a lawyer with no money over a long period, you may want to work with fixed flat fees. This ensures that your lawyer does the work you need. It's more suitable for transactions such as filing procedures and standardized forms if you're doing bookkeeping for a construction company.
Choosing Your Payment Plan
Your lawyer's payment plans will depend on your case. For instance, if you only require simple transactions for yourself or a business, your lawyer will ask you to pay flat fees. If it's for litigation, your lawyer will bill hourly. So, what do you do if you cannot afford what your lawyer is asking?
Different Options For When You Can't Afford Your Attorney's Fees
If the question on your mind is can you pay a lawyer with a credit card, we will answer soon enough. Even if you cannot afford the money to pay your lawyer, there are different paths you can take. Here are some ways you can make your payment plan more flexible for your budget.
Ask for Contingency Fee
A contingency fee is an excellent option if you cannot afford to pay your attorney. With a contingency fee, there's no requirement to pay any fees upfront. However, part of your winnings will go towards paying your lawyer. Your lawyer, however, may not offer contingency fees for all types of cases.
For instance, an attorney won't offer it for representation in custody disputes or criminal cases. While hiring a lawyer, you should ask them for this kind of payment plan if you qualify for it.
You can also apply for a personal loan online if you'd like to spread the costs. Note that if you are eligible for a loan, you should know some loan basics and understand that they come with different rates. Even if it's a kitchen remodel loan, you will have to pay for it plus interest.
Pay With A Credit Card
As we mentioned earlier, it's common for people to ask can you use a credit card to pay a lawyer. Even though most lawyers will accept credit cards and the fees they come with, not all of them will agree to credit card payments. If your credit limit is high enough, you can use it to pay your attorneys legal fees. You may need to find a credit card that has a larger balance available to be able to pay your lawyer.
Set Up A Payment Plan With Your Lawyer
When you sign up for payment plans, you agree to make multiple payments to your lawyer over time. Any lawyer that's motivated to work will offer you payment plans. Even though they will ask for a deposit upfront, it won't be a significant amount.
The amount is likely to be half or a third of their retainer fee, and they'll require you to pay the balance over a few months. Before you choose a payment plan, talk to a different attorney to find the best one. Lawyers that take payments through payment plans need to be confident in your ability to pay up.
If you're wondering, do lawyers take credit cards, you have to ensure that you can clear up the payments or they won't take on your case. Once your lawyer starts to represent you on an issue, it will be hard for them to pull out, so you should be confident enough to show that you can pay them. When you sign any paperwork with your lawyer, make sure to get copies. Make sure to use a ballpoint pen that won't leak or smear too.
Getting Help To Pay An Attorney
Free representation is the best way to go if you have no income to sustain a payment plan. These are the options you should consider.
A public defender is your best bet if you can't raise the money to pay a lawyer. If you've been charged with a crime, the court will direct that the public defenders' office represent you.
A Free Attorney
You may get a free attorney if you're in court for family matters but cannot afford a paid lawyer.
Pro Bono lawyers aren't easy to find. If you need one, you should contact your local state bar association. If your case is morally compelling, you can find a pro bono lawyer.
We hope this article has cleared the air on the question can you use a credit card to pay a lawyer. Before you choose the final option of payment for your attorney, ensure that you do sufficient research. Understand your needs and your budget so you can choose the right option for you.