Bankruptcy Lawyer in Indiana Offers Nose-on-Face Handholding

December 27, 2012 7:40 pm Published by

One of the many tools we use in our work at the Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices is a professional journal called Consumer Bankruptcy News. As a longtime debt consolidation lawyer offering Indiana bankruptcy help, I like to stay current with how the Bankruptcy Code is being interpreted by judges nationwide. Whenever I find an interesting case story that can help me explain to Bankruptcy in Indiana readers how the system works, I like to share that case here in my articles….

It seems two above-median income clients in Wisconsin had filed a petition under chapter 13 bankruptcy law.  The clients signed a retainer agreement from their attorney which estimated the legal fees and court costs would amount to around $4.000, but that the amount could increase if the case proved to be unexpectedly complex.

The debtors’ plan was confirmed by the court. (As I explain to our Indianapolis bankruptcy clients, we file a petition with the bankruptcy court here, outlining all the financial information and the plan for repaying debt and for having some of the debts discharged. The plan needs to be approved, and then the trustee will begin to supervise the three to five year Chapter 13 debt repayment plan.)

The problem in Wisconsin began after the plan was confirmed and the attorney asked for $8,100 in additional fees and expenses, claiming that the clients had needed a “lot of handholding”. The bankruptcy trustee objected, saying the debtors’ case had been relatively uncomplicated and did not require such high fees.  The court agreed that the bankruptcy lawyer’s hourly fees were very reasonable, but that “it was nose-on-face plain that handholding was not worth $8,000.”

Of course, Indiana bankruptcy attorneys need to follow the guidelines set by Indiana bankruptcy courts for filing and other fees involved in filing personal bankruptcy in Indiana. The basic structure is as follows:

  • Filing — $306 for bankruptcy Chapter 7; $281 for Chapter 13 bankruptcy
  • Credit counseling — $20 – $50
  • Financial education — $20 – $50
  • Attorney fees — $500 – $2,500 (These depend on how complicated your case is)

You remember that Consumer Bankruptcy News specifically described the clients as “above median income”. After helping more than thirty thousand people file individual bankruptcy in Indiana, I can tell you that quite often, people with very high incomes can still become overwhelmed by events beyond their control and turn to bankruptcy to get back on their financial feet. 

One other thing all of my Indianapolis, Richmond, Bloomington, Anderson, and Columbus bankruptcy lawyers have learned is that “handholding” is a necessary part of our work.

But, whether it’s bankruptcy Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, if you need to file bankruptcy in Indiana, it’s all about the warmth and the welcome – the handholding is an important part of what we’re prepared to provide!




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This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg

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