A Contingency fee is mainly used for personal injury cases and isn’t common in debt collection cases. For this fee, the attorney gets a percentage of the settlement, usually in the range of 30%-40%.
A Flat fee is when the attorney charges a set rate regardless of the amount of work or settlement amount. This is a more common option for dealing with debt collection cases.
Hourly fees are the most common. It’s exactly what it sounds like…a flat rate is charged per hour for the work the attorney does.
Usually, a debt collection defense case without a cross complaint against the debt collector is handled this way. So, if the debt collector has not violated any laws and sues you, most attorneys are going to handle it on an hourly basis. Now you know why debt collectors sue people over small amounts like $1,500 or $2,500. If there are no FDCPA or Rosenthal Act violations, it quickly gets expensive to prove that you do not owe the debt!
Hybrid fees are any combination of the above. The attorney can charge hourly for some things and also have a contingency fee. “Or it could be a flat rate with the rest being paid by the collector upon successful completion of the case.”
Pro Bono fees mean that the attorney does not charge and you aren’t billed.
However, if you call an attorney and ask them to take your case pro bono, most attorneys will tell you no. We like doing pro bono work and most of us take on pro bono cases. But these are cases that we select for a variety of factors.
This is just a basic overview of what fee options to expect, but if you have more questions about this or debt collection feel free to contact us through our website or by calling 205-879-2447.