Kentucky Bankruptcy Law

Counsel with Care

What does a bankruptcy attorney do anyway?

I recently responded to this question from a non-client: “I’m just wanting to know in a Chapter 13 case what all is my lawyer to do. Are they supposed to represent me in court and are they really on my side?”

With this answer:

There is now a “flat fee” approved in the Eastern District of Kentucky for Chapter 13 bankruptcies and a court approved document that spells out what the client is supposed to do and what the attorney is supposed to do. If you agreed to this flat fee, you can obtain a copy of the Rights and Responsibilities form from the bankruptcy court clerk.

If you were not represented under a flat fee, there is a form that was part of your original petition. This Disclosure of Attorney Compensation form gives some indication of what services were covered and what services were not covered. You should refer back to that.
For myself, my current standard of practice is that I meet and consult with the clients, answer all questions, respond to all emails and calls, prepare the means test, the petition, the plan, attend the meeting of creditors, modify the plan as necessary, respond to objections, review all claims and analyze their impact, forward all claims and other court entries to the client explaining their impact if necessary, and help get everything filed that is necessary to close out the case when it is finished. For the same flat fee, I will also cover a couple of post confirmation routine issues as they come up, but beyond that I would be requesting additional fees.
Prior to adopting the local flat fee, I would forward post-confirmation motions and other entries on the my client and explain their impact on the case and what could be done. If the client wanted to respond to the motion or other entry, we would negotiate the fee for that service. Regardless of whether they chose to have me represent them in post-confirmation pleadings, I still responded to all calls and emails and kept them informed of the status of the case.
I do not know that all bankruptcy lawyers would adhere to the above guidelines, but they are in keeping with that Rights and Responsibilities form I mentioned.

February 18, 2013 - Posted by | attorney fees, Bankruptcy, Chapter 13, Proof of Claim | , , , , , , , , ,

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