What do I do if our bankruptcy attorney removed herself from being our counsel? 23 Answers as of June 11, 2012

We have been in chapter 13 bankruptcy for 1 1/2 years. We received a letter from our attorney saying she was removing herself as our counsel. We are now hanging on to this on our own. We also wanted to convert to a chapter 7. Can we do this on our own? Also can report our attorney for dropping us like this?

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Law Office of Jeffrey Solomon
Law Office of Jeffrey Solomon | Jeffrey Solomon
Your attorney cannot withdraw as your attorney without a motion filed with the court and a court order. You may want to contact your chapter 13 trustee. However, you should certainly attempt to consult with another attorney.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/11/2012
Bereliani Law Firm | Sanaz Sarah Bereliani
You can report your attorney for abandoning you, especially if it has negatively affected your situation. At this point you can retain another attorney to substitute into your case. I would recommend for you to do that and have the new attorney review what has been occurring in your case and what they recommend for you at this time. Although you can convert on your own, I would recommend at least consulting with another attorney see if there is anything they see in your case that you should pay attention to or address first.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/11/2012
R. Jason de Groot, P.A
R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
You need to consult with another bankruptcy attorney. Your current attorney must get approval from the bankruptcy judge to withdraw from representing you. You may be able to convert to a chapter 7, from 13, if your income has decreased since you filed.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/7/2012
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
When you have an attorney representing you in chapter 13 he or she acts as your attorney throughout the case. The exceptions are if you fire your attorney or if your attorney files a motion to the court for permission to withdraw. If your attorney simply drops you there are several paths you should consider. First, you can obtain a hearing in front of the judge and ask the court to examine the fees and services provided. You can notify the office of the U.Sl trustee which investigates improprieties in bankruptcy. You can file with the State Bar or the local bar association as to your complaint. Of course, you can contact your attorney and ask for an explanation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/7/2012
Evan Guthrie Law Firm
Evan Guthrie Law Firm | Evan Guthrie
If you want to continue with the bankruptcy you can move forward with another attorney or by yourself. Another attorney is recommended to convert the bankruptcy although you could do it on your own. In most cases the attorney can end representation without consequences. Look at your fee agreement.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 6/7/2012
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    Why did your attorney leave. You should not try to convert on your own.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Rosenberg & Press
    Rosenberg & Press | Max L. Rosenberg
    If the attorney had no good clause for dropping you, then yes you can report the attorney to the Bar Association. You would be well advised to hire a new bankruptcy attorney to shepherd you through the chapter 7 process. Doing it by yourself would be very very difficult and ill advised.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC | Pho Ethan Tran
    You can file a request with the court to convert your case to a Chapter 7 on your own.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Olson Law Firm | Edward M Olson
    You have the right to get a new attorney anytime. Your attorney has the right to quit anytime. You can try to do the conversion by yourself, but I do not recommend it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy | Dan Wilson
    It is not al all unusual for the attorney to withdraw from Ch 13 case after confirmation. Call her and ask if she is interested in doing your conversion. If you stay in a 13 all you have to do is make your payments. Your attorney has done nothing wrong.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    I do not know the circumstances for "dropping you", but she should have to also file with the judge who may not let her out if she does not have a good reason. You can convert on your own but you will have to file a motion to do that.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    You should file a motion to convert and hire a new attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Alvin Lundgren | Alvin Lundgren
    You can get another attorney, or you can proceed by yourself. Changing to a ch 7 requires an analysis of certain requirements, and it is not easy unless you know what you are doing.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
    Without permission from the judge, an attorney can't just quit a case once the case is filed. That is called client abandonment and the Bar looks at this about the same way the family law courts look at dads who walk away from their children. What I recommend is this. First call the attorney and/or write the attorney for an explanation of why the attorney wants off the case. Perhaps there is a legitimate reason, usually because you failed to pay or prevented the attorney from getting paid. for the withdrawal. Perhaps the opportunity exists to fix a problem for both you and your former counsel so that she just jumps back in and takes care of whatever needs to be done. Perhaps the attorney just does not understand that she needs to stay in the case until the end, that is, until you receive a discharge, either in the original 13 case, or in the chapter 7. If after you have finished your discussion with your attorney, you and she are still at loggerheads, she thinking she is correct and you believing that you are, then call another attorney for two reasons. Explain what has happened and find out if the attorney agrees with you about your old attorney;s responsibilities. Even if the new attorney does not agree with you, consider hiring the new attorney to finish the case for you, either by converting it or fixing and completing the 13. Be prepared to pay the new attorney for the needed services. Then file for fee arbitration with the old attorney to get some or all of your money back. That is handled by the State Bar, or in most urban areas, by the local county bar.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Weber & Phillips, P.A.
    Weber & Phillips, P.A. | John G. Phillips
    You do not have to keep your attorney as your legal counsel and they do not have to keep you as a client. The rules regarding the manner in which an attorney and their clients separate one from the other will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction so I can't tell you whether on not your attorney did this properly, but do you really want an attorney that doesn't want you. Usually you can find another attorney in your area that will be willing to step in and assist you. I would call a few, explain the situation and then retain one of them. I know that you are in a difficult and scary situation and I wish you the best of luck on finding a new attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Burton Green, Attorney | Burton Green
    If you paid your attorney the agreed fee, the attorney would need to petition the bk judge for permission to stop representing you. Without knowing the reason given for termination the representation it is not possible to answer your question further. You can always convert the 13 to a 7. That decision should be made after consulting with an attorney. You can also hire another attorney to continue in the representation. If you are really upset with the lawyer, and the lawyer has no valid reason for dropping the representation, you could file something with the bk judge to bring the attorney back into the case or for appropriate sanctions, such as return of your fee.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Debt Relief Law Center | Roger J. Bus
    You can Object to your counsel being dropped. Then the Bankruptcy Court can determine if the attorney dropping you is proper or not. Probably not a wise idea to represent yourself if converting to Chapter 7, you may or may not be eligible to do that. And yes, you can report the attorney to the State Bar Grievance Committee if you disagree with how you were dropped.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    You might be better off without her. I have no idea why she left you, (quite frankly I have client right now that is such a pain I am considering firing them. It happens from time to time). Hire another one to do the conversion. That was not included in the "no look fee" anyway.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    Yes, you can do this on your own. If you had paid the attorney, I would say that you can file a complaint for her leaving you in the middle of the case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    An attorney can only be removed from your bankruptcy case with the judge's permission. It can only be assumed that you did oppose the request of your attorney to be removed. However, you are free to hire any other attorney either to assist you in the chapter 13 or convert if you are eligible.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law | Charles Ross Smith III
    Attorneys can not withdraw from a bankruptcy without the court's permission. You can complain to the judge directly by a letter. It's unprofessional. But you may want a new attorney anyway for the purpose of converting to a Chapter 7. Yes, you should have an attorney for that. You could lose your shirt if you you do it wrong. It should not cost a whole lot.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. | Diane L. Drain
    You can convert your own case, but the important question is "should you convert". Bankruptcy is a very complicated process. It is wise to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney before deciding to take this important step. Most Arizona bankruptcy attorneys offer a free consultation about the basics of bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    In most jurisdictions, if you do not consent to withdrawal, an attorney in a Chapter 13 must get court approval to withdraw.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2012
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