Q: Alabama--- I am considering terminating the relationship with my current lawyer and retaining a new one in my active 13
What are the steps for this? I have heard the current lawyer has to file a motion to have this handled, that I can not terminate without this. I hired him, right????
A: Notify your current lawyer that you are terminating the relationship. Have your current lawyer then file an entry of appearance or motion to substitute. Problem solved.
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A: In the Southern District of Alabama you will need to reach out to a new bankruptcy Attorney. The main issue with changing counsel is legal fees. In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy about 75-80% of the "no-look" attorney fee is paid out in the first year of the case to the Attorney, and then incrementally each successive month of the Plan. Many attorneys file Ch 13 cases with zero funds required up front, and later on in the case, after the Plan is confirmed, payment for all of those prior months of work are paid out. A new attorney substituting in the case may have difficulty getting paid since the previous attorney was paid for all the hours of services provided to you. You may be required to pay money up front, or agree to payment of additional attorney fees in your Plan, with an increase in your Plan payment. The Bankruptcy Court has to approve a Ch 13 Attorney's withdrawal from the case, and that's usually conditioned upon having another successor lawyer ready and in agreement with you to move forward under a pre-authorized legal fee structure. Unless you are having serious issues with your Attorney ( communication, lack of followup within a reasonable time, etc), then it is usually best to stay with your existing attorney or law firm. Most lawyers will set up a phone conference call on a Friday or another day when there are no court hearings to work on cases that have fallen off the track.
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