Announcement

Collapse

Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

Welcome to the Bankruptcy Forum. Bankruptcy (BK) Forum is known as BKForum.com and will be referred to as BKF hereinafter. In order to ensure a long term success of our vibrant community, we have established certain rules and guidelines to which everyone must adhere to. Please take your time to carefully read our rules, before you start to participate in the community.

Things you agree to do:
BKFORUM.com (BKF) users agree to use the search function before starting a new thread. This prevents duplicate discussions and allows for better organized topics.

All BKF users agree to read the sticky posts which may be available at the top of a forum page. These Sticky posts often contain valuable information. They may also outline more rules and guidelines specific for that particular forum, stickies are put in place by that forums moderator(s) or admin(s).

Things you agree not to do:

All BKF users agree not to call people names or write a post simply to make a personal attack, or get a negative reaction; this behavior is not allowed on our forum. The use of derogatory language aimed at anyone will be severely dealt with. There is no need to agree with each other, or to even like each other. However, by signing onto BKForum.com you agree to treat each member and guest with the respect they deserve. No threats or personal attacks will be allowed.

All BKF users agree not to discuss, engage, or encourage any behavior or activity which violates the law. Discussion of drugs, violence, murder, theft, vandalism, fraud or any other issue which could be used to help individuals break the law is strictly forbidden.

All BKF users agree not to "bump" old threads, unless there is a specific benefit to the community by doing so. But in most cases, please don't post in very old threads, instead start new threads.

All BKF users agree not to attempt/use another members account. It is against BKF rules to use any account other than your own. Impersonating another member will result in an immediate ban. It is also against the rules to open more than one account in your own name without permission from a moderator or administrator. If you have been banned for any reason, it is against the rules to open another account. If you were banned temporarily and you are caught using another account you will be banned permanently. Choosing a moniker which is similar in either sound or spelling as a moderator or administrator is strictly forbidden.

All BKF users agree not to private message any moderator, admin, or other member with questions related to their personal circumstances (Questions about the forum or issues with the forum are ok). This forum only works when members share their experience and insights with everyone.

Things you agree not to post:
All BKF users agree not to post any derogatory/racist/or sexist remarks. This includes attachments, links and all information contained within posts, signatures, and avatars, failure to comply with this rule will result in a permanent ban.

All BKF users agree not to post any copyrighted or trademarked information without the express written permission of the owner(s) / proper citation of source.

All BKF users agree not to post any real names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, social security numbers, or any other personal details (their own or other people's).

All BKF users agree not to post links, pictures, attachments, videos, or the like of pornographic content, objectionable material or extreme violence, whether cartoon or real.

All BKF users agree not to use BKF for advertising purposes without a written contract between yourself/company/agent and the administration of BKF. Blatant advertising will result in a ban.

All BKF users agree not to spam the forums. Spam includes but is not limited to posting erroneous, non-relevant-useless, off-topic, or meaningless posts. Spam may also include posts which contain no text, or large areas of blank space between lines. Simply posting emoticons without text is considered spam. BKF is the largest bankruptcy message board and all the content is intended to help other users. Please help us improve the quality of our forum by making sure that your posts are well-worded, spell checked, grammatically correct and syntaxed.

Regarding actions of moderators and administrators:

The forum is no place to air out your opinion or be judgmental of our staff and its capabilities.

All BKF users agree not to abuse or mistreat moderators or administrators. It is against BKF rules to post any information regarding bans or any other action taken by a member of the moderating or administrative team. If you wish to discuss bans or warnings please do so via PM. To place a complaint against a moderator, send a PM to a super moderator. All Moderators are equal, any decision made by a moderator must be adhered to. If a moderator tells you something you do not like, do not go to another moderator looking for a different answer. If you are caught doing this you will be banned. The moderators work as a team and respect the decisions made by their peers and will help enforce them unless an administrator tells them differently.
If you have an issue with how the forum is run, then notify one of our administrator and we will look into the situation. We have in the past and still do appreciate any input that you offer this forum. But critical input and/or judgmental postings towards the staff will result in you getting banned.


Should you find a thread offensive or out of line, then notify a Mod in a PM so they can evaluate the situation and do the action deemed necessary.

All moderators do have active "other" lives outside of the forum and help moderate this forum in their spare time throughout the days and weeks.

If you have a problem with a member or Mod follow the proper channels of reporting it.

BKF reserves the right to delete any posts which contain anti-BKF comments or discussion. Any bashing of moderators or administrators, or any of their discussion or actions will also be deleted, and the responsible posting party(s) will be banned. Any public anti-BKF advertising, communication, or posts on another forum will result in permanent bans as well.

All warnings and bans are decided by individual moderators and administrators. Warnings are preferable to bans however, for serious offenses and repeat abusers bans will go into effect. The length of the bans can vary from several hours to permanent.

All messages posted or sent including through PM are the property of BKforum.com.

All BKF users agree not to advertiser on the forum (Niether by posting, private messaging or using your signature). If you are a company/attorney/legal adviser wishing to advertise on the site or sell a product, you must contact the head administrator and inquire about our advertising packages.

All bankruptcy related opinions expressed on BKForum.com are those of their authors and not necessarily of BKF, its staff or representatives.

You agree not to copy any material/post/content from BKF without written permission from our head administrator .

By posting on this forum you agree to these terms and conditions, including any punishment deemed appropriate by moderators or administrators in the event of an offense.

Administrators/Moderators can change these rules at any time without prior notice.
See more
See less

My opinion on hiring an attorney for your chapter 13 case

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • My opinion on hiring an attorney for your chapter 13 case

    Money is always an issue but when your head is pushed under water money becomes all encompassing. When you have creditors calling, filing law suits, and generally making your life a living hell it may be time to hire a mouthpiece aka an attorney. My experience has taught me that an individual attorney with no staff can be problematic. Recently I received a letter from the trustee informing my wife and I our chapter 13 is coming to an end. The letter advised us to call our attorney asap. Since I am not a legal expert I had many questions as to what if anything we need to do for a smooth discharge. Keep in mind an attorney can charge the trustee for payment if additional legal cost beyond the filing are incurred. That said I called our attorney who actively dodged my calls and would not return any communication. However he is still attorney of record to this day. I was not happy and was feeling very anxious so I had to get advice from another bk attorney. I will not bore you with the details except to say five minutes of my attorneys time was not to much to ask and would have soothed my soul. For those thinking of filing chapter 13 my suggestion is to hire a firm with a staff with a boss you can complain to if your attorney is not responsive. Individual attorneys can get so busy they do not have time for you. Just for the record I did not call him very often, less then twice a year.

    It will be 40 days till the end of our Chapter 13 Feb. 5 2013 to be precise. Yes chapter 13 can be tough, but it took care of past taxes, cc's, and saved my house (however it lost half its value since we filed and are now underwater with the mortgage.) Keep in mind, piece of mind is a wonderful thing, yes it can get tight money wise but it is better then the fear debt can create. When you file do not let the stigma stop you,
    Corporations have no problem with it and do it on a regular bases. Do not hire the lone attorney unless you know him well, make sure he has someone to answer to.

  • #2
    ariesfire, that is awful when you can't get an answer to your questions. I went with a one man firm, who is supposed to be according to another lawyer, the best in the area. I'm now about 1/2 way through my chapter 13, but I have only had a few questions after my 341. It also looked like according to the signed "agreement" I have with my attorney, that I'm only covered up until Confirmation. However, I've had a couple of questions answered, and do seem to get a quick response by e-mail.

    Congratulations on completing your 13.

    Comment


    • #3
      Keep in mind an attorney can charge the trustee for payment if additional legal cost beyond the filing are incurred
      Not correct. . . If the work requested was not covered in the fee agreement, the attny charges the client. That new fee may or may not be paid through the Plan. Just depends if it is worth modifying the Plan to add the funding. Most of the time it is too costly to modify an already approved Plan so payment arrangements outside the Plan are made between the client and the attny.

      For those thinking of filing chapter 13 my suggestion is to hire a firm with a staff with a boss you can complain to if your attorney is not responsive. Individual attorneys can get so busy they do not have time for you.
      Not necessarily the case. In my “professional” opinion (for whatever that is worth), you will find sole practitioners are more responsive to their clients since they take a personal interest in each case. That is not to say that you won’t find ones that are idiots but that goes with larger firms as well. I believe your best recourse if your attny is not communicating with you is a call to the State Bar.

      It will be 40 days till the end of our Chapter 13
      Congratulations. A job well done.

      Des.

      Comment


      • #4
        It has been a long roak

        Originally posted by despritfreya View Post
        Not correct. . . If the work requested was not covered in the fee agreement, the attny charges the client. That new fee may or may not be paid through the Plan. Just depends if it is worth modifying the Plan to add the funding. Most of the time it is too costly to modify an already approved Plan so payment arrangements outside the Plan are made between the client and the attny.



        Not necessarily the case. In my “professional” opinion (for whatever that is worth), you will find sole practitioners are more responsive to their clients since they take a personal interest in each case. That is not to say that you won’t find ones that are idiots but that goes with larger firms as well. I believe your best recourse if your attny is not communicating with you is a call to the State Bar.



        Congratulations. A job well done.

        Des.
        Thanks, it has been a long road, and as annoying as my attorneys lack of communication is I do not want to jam him up since nothing legally negative has happened at this point. I was told by the trustees office that attorney fees can be billed through the trustee. My attorney is aware of this and I also told him (via voice mail) if it was the money I personally would pay him. However I do not believe the money has anything to do with his non communication. I do not even know if it is within the legal framework for me to pay him directly, since he would not talk to me I do not know the proper protocol for these matters. So my wife and I decided to just do what we need to and be done with it (the chapter 13) and hopefully his services will not be required for the discharge. If so the court will communicate this to my attorney. (An assumption I hope is correct.)

        Comment


        • #5
          desprit....You very well could be correct, but since he will not communicate with us how are we to know? I cannot find our agreement to verify this, however I was under the belief the attorney is in it for the long haul.
          Last edited by ariesfire; 12-29-2012, 10:27 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by despritfreya View Post
            Not correct. . . If the work requested was not covered in the fee agreement, the attny charges the client. That new fee may or may not be paid through the Plan. Just depends if it is worth modifying the Plan to add the funding. Most of the time it is too costly to modify an already approved Plan so payment arrangements outside the Plan are made between the client and the attny.
            I have no objection to paying him more money, all he has to do is tell me how much.


            Not necessarily the case. In my “professional” opinion (for whatever that is worth), you will find sole practitioners are more responsive to their clients since they take a personal interest in each case. That is not to say that you won’t find ones that are idiots but that goes with larger firms as well. I believe your best recourse if your attny is not communicating with you is a call to the State Bar.

            You would think that is true, and I agree that many lone attorneys are more responsive, however it is not in my case.

            Congratulations. A job well done.

            Des.
            Thanks, it has been actually been 63 months of payments so far and 66 months since the first filing in July 2007, confirmed in 2 Feb 2008.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by lillymarlene View Post
              ariesfire, that is awful when you can't get an answer to your questions. I went with a one man firm, who is supposed to be according to another lawyer, the best in the area. I'm now about 1/2 way through my chapter 13, but I have only had a few questions after my 341. It also looked like according to the signed "agreement" I have with my attorney, that I'm only covered up until Confirmation. However, I've had a couple of questions answered, and do seem to get a quick response by e-mail.

              Congratulations on completing your 13.
              That may be the case with us also, however I do not know where our agreement is, but I am willing to pay him personally for advice and have left messages to that affect.

              Comment


              • #8
                Congratulations for completing your Chapter 13, are you in the Eastern District of Michigan. It is amazing that it took so long for confirmation and it looks as though you paid an extra 6 months. What happens to the additional money, I heard earlier that a debtor could use this money throughout the plan if they felt it was needed. How much communication did you have with your trustee

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ariesfire View Post
                  desprit....You very well could be correct, but since he will not communicate with us how are we to know? I cannot find our agreement to verify this, however I was under the belief the attorney is in it for the long haul.
                  1. If you do not have a copy of the fee agreement and since the attny appears to be non-responsive, there would be nothing wrong with you showing up at his office to get a copy.

                  2. I would agree that taking steps to "finalize" the bk so that a discharge can be entered is part of the attny's duties. In my district, once payments are completed and the Trustee files his notice of completed case 2 things must be done. The debtor must take that second credit counseling class and get the Certificate to me for filing and the debtor must sign a form stating that he/she is entitled to a Chapter 13 discharge. Once I see the notice of completed case, I typically send out the form with a cover letter to sign and return it to me along with the Certificate for that second course (if the second course had not been previously done). The time it takes for me to do this last bit of "work" is minimal and I usually book it at "no charge" (we bill hourly).

                  3. Yes, the attny is in it for the "long hall" so long as he/she is "attorney of record" but that does not necessarily mean post Confirmation work goes "uncompensated". It just depends upon the fee agreement which not only should state when the representation "ends", it should also state exactly what tasks the fees paid cover.

                  Des.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by despritfreya View Post
                    Not correct. . . If the work requested was not covered in the fee agreement, the attny charges the client. That new fee may or may not be paid through the Plan. Just depends if it is worth modifying the Plan to add the funding. Most of the time it is too costly to modify an already approved Plan so payment arrangements outside the Plan are made between the client and the attny.

                    Hey Des, if the work requested is actually a plan modification to begin with, then in theory it should be easy to include the attorney fee in that, correct?

                    I am going to have to file a modification here soon, (have child #4 coming any day now, and there have been some other financial changes (rent increase) that by their selves were not worth filing a modification over). My Attorney will charge something like $500 for the mod (I got one included modification which I already used). I thought I was going to have to come up with that out of pocket but if there is a way to roll it in the plan since the plan is being modified anyway that could be very helpful as I don't really have an extra $500 laying around.

                    As always thanks for your help!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by magic13 View Post
                      Congratulations for completing your Chapter 13, are you in the Eastern District of Michigan. It is amazing that it took so long for confirmation and it looks as though you paid an extra 6 months. What happens to the additional money, I heard earlier that a debtor could use this money throughout the plan if they felt it was needed. How much communication did you have with your trustee
                      Yes we are, we will not receive any return on monies paid in. We are above the state median income so trustee and creditors will receive any funds left. I did not communicate much with trustee, asked a few basic questions but the paralegal was helpful, he told me what we needed to do. I would not advise anyone to call the trustee before they confer with their attorney. I only asked what they needed for a smooth discharge, these where questions relating to financials on the network13 system. So I am doing what they want me to, all of which is doable. BTW evidently the sixty months is a guideline but can be extended if need be.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ariesfire View Post
                        BTW evidently the sixty months is a guideline but can be extended if need be.
                        I believe that is a Michigan thing in that it is 60 months from the confirmation as opposed to 60 months from filing like most of the rest of the country.
                        Typically it cannot extend beyond 60 months unless you did something to cause a shortfall in the plan ( missed/deferred a payment or something like that)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by despritfreya View Post
                          1. If you do not have a copy of the fee agreement and since the attny appears to be non-responsive, there would be nothing wrong with you showing up at his office to get a copy.

                          2. I would agree that taking steps to "finalize" the bk so that a discharge can be entered is part of the attny's duties. In my district, once payments are completed and the Trustee files his notice of completed case 2 things must be done. The debtor must take that second credit counseling class and get the Certificate to me for filing and the debtor must sign a form stating that he/she is entitled to a Chapter 13 discharge. Once I see the notice of completed case, I typically send out the form with a cover letter to sign and return it to me along with the Certificate for that second course (if the second course had not been previously done). The time it takes for me to do this last bit of "work" is minimal and I usually book it at "no charge" (we bill hourly).

                          3. Yes, the attny is in it for the "long hall" so long as he/she is "attorney of record" but that does not necessarily mean post Confirmation work goes "uncompensated". It just depends upon the fee agreement which not only should state when the representation "ends", it should also state exactly what tasks the fees paid cover.

                          Des.
                          I do not believe there will be a problem and he will do what is required. I am also aware of the financial course we must take, and the doc. for domestic payment statement. We are letting it(chapter13) run it's course now and I do not expect to hear from my attorney unless we hit a snag. I appreciate that attorneys do not work pro bono and I have always been ready to pay him more fees if required. Just trying to avoid problems, it seems anxiety is more acute at this point.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by goon View Post
                            I believe that is a Michigan thing in that it is 60 months from the confirmation as opposed to 60 months from filing like most of the rest of the country.
                            Typically it cannot extend beyond 60 months unless you did something to cause a shortfall in the plan ( missed/deferred a payment or something like that)
                            We are perfect on payments and yes it is from confirmation, but I sincerely doubt I will receive any credits for the three months of additional payments. At this point I would rather pay more just to get out of the clutches of the legal system (Chapter13)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by goon View Post
                              Hey Des, if the work requested is actually a plan modification to begin with, then in theory it should be easy to include the attorney fee in that, correct?

                              I am going to have to file a modification here soon, (have child #4 coming any day now, and there have been some other financial changes (rent increase) that by their selves were not worth filing a modification over). My Attorney will charge something like $500 for the mod (I got one included modification which I already used). I thought I was going to have to come up with that out of pocket but if there is a way to roll it in the plan since the plan is being modified anyway that could be very helpful as I don't really have an extra $500 laying around.


                              As always thanks for your help!!
                              The trustee informed me that attorney fees would be rolled into the plan without an increase in payments. My two cents.

                              Comment

                              Unconfigured Ad Widget

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X