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AP answer due tomorrow, attorney MIA and hasn't filed it yet

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  • AP answer due tomorrow, attorney MIA and hasn't filed it yet

    One of my secured creditors filed an AP on our bar date last month. Our Ch7 case has since been discharged and closed, but we still need to respond to the AP to get it cleared up.

    My attorney's office has been really crappy about communication throughout this entire BK process. I've had to keep on top of them to do basic stuff, like filing our credit counseling certificates after they'd had them for two weeks. I've been reminding them regularly about the AP answer, and last week the paralegal finally sent it to me for review. The Answer is extremely short (essentially it says, we admit sections 1-6 but deny sections 7-12, and ask for dismissal) but is probably sufficient. They got my address wrong on it, but I sent them back a corrected version, so all they have to do is file it.

    I've been checking PACER every day and it has still not been filed. I tried to contact the attorney today and had no response.

    The AP itself is pretty much baseless, so we stand a good chance of having it dismissed outright -- but not if we don't file the Answer. If the creditor wins by default, I will owe them $2600 plus their attorney and court costs. If my attorney doesn't file the answer tomorrow, can I file it myself, or is circumventing my attorney a bad idea?

    If I can file it, how would I go about doing that? Can I do it electronically?
    DH laid off 3/08 | Last mortgage payment 12/09 | Filed Ch13 5/10 | Converted to Ch7 7/10 | 341 held 8/10 | AP filed by secured creditor 10/10 | Ch7 discharged & closed 11/10 | Foreclosure 10/2011

  • #2
    So...never mind. I managed to get in touch with the paralegal this morning and the answer was filed this afternoon. I guess I'm awaiting the creditor's reply now.
    DH laid off 3/08 | Last mortgage payment 12/09 | Filed Ch13 5/10 | Converted to Ch7 7/10 | 341 held 8/10 | AP filed by secured creditor 10/10 | Ch7 discharged & closed 11/10 | Foreclosure 10/2011

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    • #3
      Pheeew, I was almost apoplectic. Yes even if you carried it to the Courthouse or in person to the Judge it had to be answered. Too bad there are so many lawyers who just don't have it together. 'Hub
      If I knew it all, would I be here?? Hang in there = Retained attorney 8-06, Filed 12-28-07, Discharge 8-13-08, Finally CLOSED 11-3-09, 3-31-10 AP Dismissed, Informed by incompetent lawyer of CLOSED status, October 14, 2010.

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      • #4
        Agreed. My lawyer has ultimately gotten the results we wanted; he just won't communicate with me, which is incredibly frustrating. He says most of his clients just want him to let them know when it's over, and that I am his first in 24 years of BK work to check PACER. I guess there's a fine line between being an informed customer and a PITA.
        DH laid off 3/08 | Last mortgage payment 12/09 | Filed Ch13 5/10 | Converted to Ch7 7/10 | 341 held 8/10 | AP filed by secured creditor 10/10 | Ch7 discharged & closed 11/10 | Foreclosure 10/2011

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        • #5
          Typical bk attorney. Wait until the last minute, not return your phone calls, leave you to sweat. Are there any of them out there that don't behave this way?
          All information contained in this post is for informational and amusement purposes only.
          Bankruptcy is a process, not an event.......

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          • #6
            Oy. I just checked in with PACER on a gut feeling and found...

            FILED IN WRONG CASE-ATTORNEY NOTIFIED.
            Yes folks, my attorney (or more likely, his paralegal) filed my answer to the main BK case instead of the separate AP. Yesterday they re-filed it to the correct case, but it was a day after the due date. The AP case number isn't even on the answer (only the original BK case number), which I noticed and specifically asked the paralegal about, but got no answer. Once again, my attorney's office did something at the last minute and got it wrong. I really think I could have done a better job of this myself.

            Does anyone know how much leeway exists in the legal system for mistakes like this? If I get spanked for being late to file the answer, I'm really going to be pissed.
            DH laid off 3/08 | Last mortgage payment 12/09 | Filed Ch13 5/10 | Converted to Ch7 7/10 | 341 held 8/10 | AP filed by secured creditor 10/10 | Ch7 discharged & closed 11/10 | Foreclosure 10/2011

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            • #7
              Your attorney will be responsible for taking the hit.
              I may be smarter than an attorney, but I'm not one. No legal advice here, people.
              Filed Ch. 7 pro se on 10/22/10 341 on 11/19/10 Report of No Distribution Filed on 11/19/10 Discharged 1/19/11 Closed 2/2/11

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              • #8
                Originally posted by researchnerd View Post
                Yes folks, my attorney (or more likely, his paralegal) filed my answer to the main BK case instead of the separate AP. Yesterday they re-filed it to the correct case, but it was a day after the due date.
                Don't worry. It was timely filed in your case - just not under the adversary number. It will be deemed timely. This is not an uncommon error.

                Des.

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                • #9
                  Good to know, despritfreya. Thanks!

                  Overall I've been really surprised at the fact that every single document seems to be filed at the last possible minute. It's not just my attorney - the AP was filed on the afternoon of the last possible day. Is this standard legal practice...and if so, why?
                  DH laid off 3/08 | Last mortgage payment 12/09 | Filed Ch13 5/10 | Converted to Ch7 7/10 | 341 held 8/10 | AP filed by secured creditor 10/10 | Ch7 discharged & closed 11/10 | Foreclosure 10/2011

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