Rule 2016-2 Compensation of Debtors' Attorneys in Chapter 13 Cases

The provisions of this rule shall apply to all chapter 13 cases filed on or after October 1, 2014.
            
(a)     Rights and Responsibilities Agreement.  Unless otherwise ordered by the court, in all chapter 13 cases in which a debtor(s) is represented by an attorney, the debtor(s) and the attorney must execute the Rights and Responsibilities Agreement as set forth in L.B.F. 2016-2(a).  Counsel must retain the original Agreement in the case file and provide a fully executed copy to the debtor(s).

(b)      General Rule.  Except as provided in L.B.R. 2016-2(c), an attorney representing a debtor(s) in a chapter 13 case must file an application for approval of compensation in order to be paid for all services rendered after the filing of the case.  The fee application must comply with L.B.R. 2016-1, except the information required under (a)(1) and (a)(8) of that rule may be omitted.  A model fee application form for use by attorneys representing chapter 13 debtor(s) is set forth in L.B.F. 2016-2(b) (“lodestar fee”).  The attorney must also file a certification that a Rights and Responsibilities Agreement (L.B.F. 2016-2(a)) has been executed by the attorney and by the debtor(s).  Filing of the certification may be accomplished by a virtual entry in the ECF system.  After the petition is filed, an attorney may not receive payment of fees except through the chapter 13 plan, unless payment is otherwise approved by the court

(c)    Presumptively Reasonable Fees.  When the Rights and Responsibilities Agreement provides for the payment of the presumptively reasonable fee, the attorney may receive compensation in the maximum amount of $4,500.00.  Further, no fee application is required to be filed where the presumptively reasonable fee is agreed to.  In such case, the attorney is only required to file L.B.F. 2016-2(c) - Request for Payment of Chapter 13 Compensation and Expenses, with parts A and C completed.  If the chapter 13 trustee requires the debtor(s) to file a business report, or if the debtor(s) holds a controlling interest in a corporation or LLC operating a business, an attorney may receive additional compensation in the maximum amount of $1000.00 without seeking approval from the court.  An attorney representing a consumer debtor(s) who proposes to make mortgage payments through a chapter 13 plan (“conduit plan”) may receive additional compensation of $500.00, without seeking approval from the court.  When an attorney agrees to accept a presumptively reasonable fee, all covered legal services rendered by the attorney through confirmation of the plan, must be included in the fee, except as provided in paragraph (e).  Approval of the allowance of a presumptively reasonable fee will be considered by the court at confirmation and any approval will be given by virtue of the entry of the confirmation order.  Consideration of the allowance of a fee for the preparation, filing, and defense of a modified plan will be given by virtue of the entry of the order granting or denying the motion to modify.

(d)    Indication of Type of Fee in Plan.  The attorney for the debtor must indicate in section 3B of the model plan (L.B.F. 3015-1) whether the attorney seeks the presumptively reasonable fee or the lodestar fee.

(e)    Additional Fees.  An attorney who has agreed to accept a presumptively reasonable fee may request additional fees under L.B.R. 2016-2(b) for services rendered after confirmation of the plan or in connection with adversary proceedings.  In the event that an attorney determines that services required to be rendered before confirmation of plan exceed normal and customary services in a chapter 13 case, the attorney may seek approval of additional fees under L.B.R. 2016-2(b).

(f)    Post-Confirmation Modification Plans.  An attorney who has agreed to payment of the presumptively reasonable fee may receive additional compensation of $500.00 for each post confirmation plan modification which is filed, without seeking approval from the court.

(g)    Payment of Fees Through Plan.  An attorney who has agreed to be paid through a proposed plan must file a Request for Payment of Chapter 13 Compensation and Expenses (L.B.F. 2016-2(c) (“Request for Payment”)) no later than seven (7) days before the confirmation hearing on the plan.  Failure to timely file a Request for Payment may result in a delay of confirmation of the chapter 13 plan.  In the event the confirmation hearing is continued, the Request for Payment is not required to be refiled, if no additional fees are requested.  When additional fees are requested, a new Request for Payment must be filed no later than seven (7) days before the continued confirmation hearing.

Part: 
Part II - Officers and Administration; Notices; Meetings; Examinations; Elections; Attorneys and Accountants