Attorney fees are negotiated between the client and lawyer. No "law" governs them. However, if the fees are deemed unreasonable, the BK judge can reduce them. Call the Chapter 13 trustee to inquire whether the fees fall under the "no look" basis. The trustee will know what you are asking. If that does not clarify things, examine the contract/retainer agreement to see what is included on your case. The BK court requires the lawyer to spell out in detail what is included in a "complete service". Remember, your fee does not buy a lifetime membership in the law office. It sounds like your lawyer did a "lien strip" which is not included in a "complete service". I say that because at the end of a successful 13, the junior lender is required to prepare a reconveyance releasing its lien on your property. However, if your lawyer prepared it, it might cost a bit more. $750 sounds too steep to me, but maybe there are other facts missing which could have a bearing on the extra fee. Whenever a lawyer seeks additional fees, which fees are to be paid out of your plan payments, the lawyer usually files a motion for supplemental fees. Notice to the creditors and to you must be given in writing. If no one objects, and the trustee agrees the fees are reasonable, the court will approve them and issue an order so stating. Sit down with your lawyer, face to face, and request an accounting and justification for the extra fees. Good luck to you.
You are not my client and I am not your attorney. This advice is given in the spirit of the AVVO platform and is based on general legal principles. You become a client when you enter into a formal retainer agreement with me.
In this district your initial fees cover work done prior to and including confirmation of your plan. The fee agreement, whether it's a"no look" agreement or a fee agreement that requires fee application, should outline what was included.
As for the amount being charged for post confirmation services, I don't know for what your lawyer is charging nor what his normal rate would be.
This response is not intended as legal advice. You may need to consult your own attorney to obtain a more specific answer.
Mr. Steinberger and Ms. Hill have shown that they have an excellent knowledge of bankruptcy law and of local practice. Read there answers and use that information to determine what your rights are. If you think that your attorney is not follow the standing orders or local rules in the court where your case is filed, you have a right to talk with other attorneys in your area to get a 2nd opinion, to contact the state bar association or contact the office of the United States Trustee. However, I would have an experienced chapter 13 attorney review all the facts, your contract with your attorney, etc. and get his/her advise before contacting he bar or the UST.
Answers and comments provided are for general discussion only. My comments are not to be considered legal advice and they do not create an attorney-client relationship.
Maybe. Check retainer agreement and confirmed plan to determine whether attornsy may charge fee for discharge filing and reconveyance.
Payment of $3,500 fee usually does not include lifetime service. Check the retainer.
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