Attorney for Chapter 13 Debtors Not Entitled Fees Above the Local “No Look” Fee Where the Disclosure of Compensation Conflicted With Plan Provision on Fees

Attorney for Chapter 13 Debtors Not Entitled Fees Above the Local “No Look” Fee Where the Disclosure of Compensation Conflicted With Plan Provision on Fees

This chapter 13 case was filed on 10/14/2015. On that same date, Counsel for Debtors filed his ‘Disclosure of Compensation of Attorney for Debtor.’  In this form, Counsel for Debtors stated that he agreed to accept $3,000.00 for legal services. However, in another section of the form marked “Other provisions as needed,” Counsel added this language:

The fee agreement between Legal Partners and debtor(s) provides for fees to be billed at the standard rate of $225.00 per hour for services performed by Lawyer. However, matters attended by paralegal staff will be charged at the rate of $90.00 per hour and services of in-house accountant will be charged at the rate of $110.00 per hour. If the services of associate attorneys are required, their services will be charged at a normal rate of $185.00. Expenses will be charged at their cost/price. A detailed application for fees will be submitted for approval by the court, or an election to be compensated under “no look” pursuant to L.B.R. 2016-1(f) will be made. This disclosure should be construed in harmony with 11 U.S.C. §330(a)(4)(B), and Local Rules. The fees were collected by the corporation Legal Partners, and the undersigned has not retained any amounts from these funds.

The chapter 13 Plan contained a provision with respect to the payment of attorney fees which allowed the attorney to receive fees above the No-Look Fee upon application to the Court.

The Court confirmed the Chapter 13 Plan.

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