The chapter 13 trustee has objected to confirmation of the plan on the basis that the fees requested by the debtor’s attorney are excessive. The attorney has responded and filed a memorandum in support of his request for the allowance of a fee in the amount of $3, 250. The trustee contends that this fee is excessive because: (1) there are no secured creditors in the case; and (2) the payment of the fees represents a high percentage of the total payments going to all creditors and administrative claimants.
The Debtor is a 38-year old female who is an individual debtor in this case. The total payments called for under the debtor’s plan equal $6, 300. The requested attorney fee of $3, 250 would represent 51.58% of the total payments of $6, 300. If the requested fee is allowed, the dividend to unsecured creditors would be approximately 30%. If the fee were reduced to $2, 000, as suggested by the trustee, the dividend to unsecured creditors would be approximately 44%. The debtor’s income consists of $527 per month from Social Security, $130 per month from Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), and $869 per month from a contribution from her husband.
The debtor is entitled to a chapter 7 discharge. The standard chapter 7 fee for the debtor’s counsel on this case would have been $1, 750. The debtor appeared at the scheduled 341 Meeting of Creditors, and absent this objection, the case is otherwise ready for confirmation.