When should I start getting another attorney if the filing attorney has not responded to inquiries? 10 Answers as of April 28, 2015

It has been four months since I received a statement from the trustee, and the sixtieth payment on the plan has been made.

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Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
Since the plan payments have been completed, I'd hesitate to recommend hiring another attorney. You've already paid this attorney to handle the paperwork to wrap up the plan. I don't know the details of your plan or the practices in your district (in some districts the work is done by the trustee and others by the attorney).
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 4/28/2015
Tokarska Law Center
Tokarska Law Center | Kathryn U. Tokarska
This assumes you are in Southern California District court. The closing of the case takes about 3-5 months. I don't know what you mean by "statement" from the Trustee. If it was specifically a "Final Interim Report", there is a form called "Chapter 13 Individual Debtor's Certifications Regarding Domestic Support Obligations, Section 522(q) & Eligibility for Discharge" form CSD2120 that needs to be filed within 17 days after the Final Interim Report is filed by the Trustee to ensure you get a discharge before the case is closed. If the form is not filed, at some point the case will close WITHOUT a discharge. If that happens, all is not lost, but there will be extra expense and steps to take to reopen the case so that this form can be filed. If the "statement" you are referring to was NOT a "final interim report" but just a letter from the Trustee letting you know they received the final payment, then there is nothing to do until that Final Interim report is filed with the court. This can take a couple of months. The Trustee needs to do accounting of the entire case. ONLY AFTER the Final Interim report is filed can the form CSD2120 be filed. To see if a Final Interim report was filed, you can check www.pacer.gov - this access provides information about your case, including any documents that were filed with the court. The fees you paid to your attorney INCLUDE work needed to obtain a discharge and properly close the case. Don't know how many times you have tried to get a response, I would call him/her or stop by the office and let them know you demand they respond back within 24 hours or you'll be contacting the Bar next. Look up the attorney at www.calbar.org to see if they are still active/licensed. Attorneys are required to keep the contact information with the Bar up to date. If there is no response within 24 hours, you can contact the state bar and the US Trustees office and let them know that your attorney is not responding. The Bar takes seriously any complaints alleging that payment for services was made but services not received. Assuming Interim Report was filed and the case has not yet closed without discharge, as quickly as possible you should either yourself fill out form CSD2120 - available on court's website and file it with the court, even if it means walking it over there or have someone else do it for you. Other than this form, there shouldn't be anything else to do with your case, assuming you also completed the Financial Management Course, and a certificate of that along with a filled out B23 form was filed at some point. This is the SECOND course that you are required to take, slightly different from the one you took to originally file the case. Some attorneys like to get this part done at the end of the case. I prefer to do it shortly after confirmation just so we don't have to worry about tying up this loose end. If the course has NOT been completed, or the certificate and B23 form not filed, then that should be done right away. You do not need to wait for the Final Interim report to get Certificate and B23 filed. Hope this helps.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/15/2015
EDWARD P RUSSELL | EDWARD P RUSSELL
The 60th payment is the last payment in a 5 year plan. You should have received a notice from the court that you must complete the education requirement and receive a certificate of Financial Management. That must be filed with the court as well as a certification by you that you do not have any outstanding domestic relations orders against you. Your attorney should be helping you with those. If he refuses then you should consult another attorney.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 4/15/2015
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
While your attorney should respond, it is possible the trustee's office is the cause of the delay. Your attorney cannot file the final papers until the trustee has filed the final accounting.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/15/2015
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
Until the trustee files the final report, there is nothing for your bankruptcy attorney to do. Because the trustee needs to audit your file in order to prepare the final report, I have seen it take up to a year after the final plan payment has been made for the trustee to file this report. Although you are always able to change attorneys, I can say that I and many other attorneys will refuse to represent someone who has made the decision to change attorneys once the case is filed.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/15/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    You might not need another lawyer, if you have completed payments to the Trustee. You could send your unresponsive lawyer a letter discharging him or her because of their not communicating with you, and notify the Trustee that all communications should go to you. If for some reason you feel you need another lawyer, you can hire one today. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 4/15/2015
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    I would look on your local court web site for the rules on chapter 13. Find the specific rule your lawyer is failing to abide by. (Every district numbers them differently). I would then file a complaint with the local office of the United States Trustee's Office. If that does not work, file a complaint with the state bar.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/15/2015
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    If your attorney is not responding then send a letter. If they still do not respond then maybe you should call the trustee.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/15/2015
    Law Office of Andrew Oostdyk
    Law Office of Andrew Oostdyk | Andrew Oostdyk
    You should contact another attorney immediately as there may be additional documents that need to be filed in your case to receive your discharge order. Since you have made your last payment, time is of the essence to ensure that your case will not close without your discharge order.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 4/15/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    I cannot answer your question on the facts presented, except to say that if you are not satisfied with the responsiveness of your attorney you should consider potentially hiring a different one.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/15/2015
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