(a) Application for Flat Fee Payment in Plan. Any original, amended, or modified chapter 13 plan (collectively the “plan”) must indicate on the plan form whether compensation by the attorney representing the debtor will be on a flat fee or hourly basis. In hourly fee cases, counsel must file a separate fee application as provided in section (c).
(b) Flat Fee Requirements. An attorney may elect to seek approval for fees in the order confirming the plan up to the amounts set forth in this Court’s General Orders.
(1) Entitlement to Flat Fee. A flat fee is available if:
(A) The attorney agrees to provide all services listed in subsection (2);
(B) The plan provision entitled “Application for Payment of Administrative Expense” contains the attorney’s election to accept a flat fee and identifies the amount of the flat fee;
(C) No party objects to the requested fees; and
(D) The Court confirms the plan or otherwise determines that the requested fees are reasonable.
(2) Minimum Required Services. Attorneys electing a flat fee must provide legal services through confirmation of a debtor’s plan, and thereafter assist a debtor to obtain a discharge, including, but not limited to:
(A) Review of financial documents and information;
(B) Consultation, planning and advice, including office visits, email and telephone communications;
(C) Representation and advice regarding filing of pre-filing credit briefing;
(D) Preparation/filing of petition, schedules, statement of financial affairs, current monthly income, payment advice declaration, master mailing list, and declaration re: electronic filing;
(E) Preparation/filing of chapter 13 plan, plan analysis, and necessary amendments;
(F) Preparation/filing of bankruptcy notice in state court actions;
(G) Representation at §341 meeting of creditors, or continued meeting;
(H) Resolution of non-adversary proceeding creditor objections and any hearings related thereto;
(I) Review and analysis of creditor claims for potential objections, and attendance at related hearings;
(J) Objections to proofs of claim;
(K) Preparation/filing of affidavit of no income regarding tax claims;
(L) Notify client of unfiled tax return claims, follow up with taxing authority;
(M) Preparation of proposed order confirming plan with cover letter to trustee addressing each issue numerically;
(N) Preparation/filing of motion to extend (for each: schedules, stipulated order of confirmation, motion to dismiss);
(O) Preparation/filing of responses to pre-confirmation objections to dismissal;
(P) Preparation/filing of pre-confirmation stipulation to reinstate case;
(Q) Responses to motions for stay relief, and attendance at hearings;
(R) Drafting and mailing any necessary correspondence;
(S) Change of debtor address filings;
(T) Representation regarding filing of post-filing education course certificate;
(U) Representation regarding discharge eligibility certificate;
(V) Amendments to schedules; and
(W) Filing of Business Operating Statements, if applicable.
(3) Effect of Flat Fee Election. Unless ordered otherwise, an attorney’s election to accept a flat fee is irrevocable and the Court will not approve additional compensation for work necessary to confirm the initial or amended plan or in cases where the Court confirms no plan. The application must state the amount of the flat fee and specify what services are to be rendered for the debtor. The flat fee election does not prohibit debtor’s counsel from seeking additional flat fee or hourly compensation for services not mandated in subsection (2).
(c) Separate Application. Unless a flat fee has been elected, debtor’s counsel must file a separate application for allowance of compensation and reimbursement of expenses in compliance with Code § 330 and FRBP 2016(a).
(d) Attorney Disclosure. The fees sought in the plan must be consistent in amount and description with counsel’s FRBP 2016(b) disclosure.
(e) Payment of Attorney’s Fees. Unless ordered otherwise and except for pre-petition retainers, all fees must be paid through the plan.
(f) Payment on Dismissal. If no party objects to counsel’s fees disclosed in the plan, the Court may approve the fees in the dismissal order or in a separate order lodged by debtor’s counsel.
Notes 2017: LR was amended to include the services required for flat fee compensation (previously delineated in former General Order 106).
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