Return a phone call to your client. What a novel concept. I have had two situations over the past few years where frustrated people had chapter 13 lawyers who would not return their calls. One of them posted a testimonial on my home page. Each of these poor people had different lawyers. I refer to the attorneys in the feminine pronoun because they are both women.
Real Life Cases
In her situation, she was in a chapter 13, and should not have been there in the first place. Her ongoing medical expenses were severely understated in her budget and the means test. On top of that she suffered a broken ankle which required even more medical expenses. She found me online and corresponded with me thought my contact page. For over six months I told her call her attorney to fix the problem. For over six months her attorney refused to call her. Finally I consented to a consultation. Ultimately I entered her case, and converted it to the chapter 7 it should have been all along.
The next person was in a similar situation. He has your basic nightmare bankruptcy lawyer. She knows everything. Don’t question her, or else you will get an earful. She never returns calls. Email fares no better. Her client is in a chapter 13 case. The client’s wife found me through this website. He needed someone to look at his case, because his own lawyer is never available.
The really odd thing is that each of these clients are in chapter 13 cases. This chapter is a living, breathing bankruptcy. The plan is subject to revision as your circumstances change. It is important for a lawyer to keep communication with the client open. The only way to find out if there are changes is to welcome calls. In the Northern District of Ohio unless an attorney withdraws she is in for the duration.
Why no return call?
So, why would an attorney not return a call to a chapter 13 client? I expect it might have to do with money. When a client is in chapter 13 all attorney fees must be paid by the trustee pursuant to court order. That means the attorney, to be paid, must file a written application to the court for additional fees. That is a whole bunch of work to receive a pittance. Greed is a bad trade off for poor client service.
There is one more reason that your attorney will not return a call to a client, and it is not good. There might be a problem with your case. If the attorney does not want to discuss it, I would bet the problem is of her own creation. The fact is that you need to talk to someone. That someone has to be your attorney.
What can you do?
When the phone or email won’t work, then show up at the office. If you still can’t connect, then find another attorney, or at least one who will talk with you. If you can’t find anyone else then here is a nasty little trick. You can write a letter to the judge assigned to your case explaining your problem. I bet with judicial intervention the attorney will forevermore return your client phone call.
Other attorneys involved in the bankruptcy alphabet game:
- Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska Bankruptcy Attorney, Ryan D. Caldwell says P is for Plan.
- New York Bankruptcy Lawyer, Jay S. Fleischman claims P is for Pay Advice.
- Colorado Springs Bankruptcy Attorney Bob Doig discusses that P is for Preferneces.
- Maui Bankruptcy Attorney, Stuart Ing says P is for Preference.
- Southgate, Michigan Bankruptcy Lawyer, Christopher McAvoy believes P is for Pride.
- Philadelphia Suburban Bankruptcy Lawyer, Chris Carr says P is for Property of the Estate.
- Marin County Bankruptcy Attorney, Catherine Eranthe writes that P is for Preference.