About once a month I receive a phone call or sit down and meet with a debtor who is extremely unhappy with the representation of their current bankruptcy attorney. The first question they ask me is if they can fire their current attorney. The short answer is yes, but is it worth it. Another attorney can take over your bankruptcy case, from prior counsel, with an order from the bankruptcy court.
The biggest thing the debtor needs to think about is if you fire your attorney you will need to PAY for another attorney, this typically isn’t cheap. Some attorneys would be willing to handle your case on an hourly basis while others would agree to a flat fee payment.
Reasons to Substitute Counsel:
Lack of Experience:
The most common reason I take over clients from prior counsels, is that the previous attorney had no experience or knowledge handling bankruptcies. These clients come to me telling me they found their attorney in an advertisement or through the internet and the attorney stated that they “practice” bankruptcy law. Unfortunately while some attorneys have very nice websites providing information about bankruptcy law, in reality they know little or nothing about the practice.
I have also taken over cases where the attorney has withdrawn from the debtor’s case. An attorney will likely withdraw from a case when the debtor fails to be truthful when preparing their bankruptcy petition.
Lack of Communication:
Finally, I have seen attorneys basically abandon their clients, i.e. lack of communication, and the debtors get frustrated and leave.
In conclusion yes it is possible to substitute your attorney after you filed your bankruptcy case, there are many reasons to do so, however you must understand that this will be fairly costly and you should weigh the pros and cons before doing so.
Shmucher Law, PL is a law firm with an emphasis in bankruptcy law. We offer free consultations and are ready and willing to assist people negotiate the process of filing for bankruptcy. Give us a call at 305.741.5553 or 954.309.5559 to schedule a free consultation.