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B-2016-1. APPLICATIONS FOR COMPENSATION FOR SERVICES RENDERED AND REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES

(a)   Generally

Applications for compensation and reimbursement of expenses shall comply with the fee guidelines of the UST under 28 U.S.C. §586(a)(3)(A)(i) and the Policy of the United States Trustee for Region 10 for Implementation of Fee Guidelines. Applications for compensation and reimbursement of expenses shall be filed separately for the trustee and each professional.

(b)   Chapter 13 Cases

(1)     Traditional Fee Award Process

Compensation to an attorney representing a Chapter 13 Debtor (“Counsel”) shall be disclosed, reviewed, and approved under applicable authority including, without limitation, 11 U.S.C. §§329 and 330 and Fed.R.Bankr.P. 2002, 2016, and 2017, unless Counsel opts for the alternative award process in subparagraph (b)(2) of this rule.

(2)     Streamlined or “Presumed Reasonable” Fee Award Process

Counsel may have fees deemed awarded upon confirmation, without filing a separate application, if: 

(A)     Counsel has filed an executed copy of the “Rights and Responsibilities of Chapter 13 Debtors and Their Attorneys,” available on the Court’s website;

(B)     Counsel has filed a proof of claim and served that claim upon the trustee;

(C)     Counsel seeks no more than the maximum fee set by general order (the "Presumed Reasonable Fee"); and

(D)     No other counsel in the case has been awarded and paid any amount using the award process in this subparagraph.

(3)     Supplemental Fees

Counsel may apply for additional fees if Counsel opted for the fee award process set out in subparagraph (b)(2) of this rule, but later determines that the Presumed Reasonable Fee is not sufficient.  The application shall request only the amount in excess of the Presumed Reasonable Fee and be accompanied by time records supporting the total fees sought by Counsel in the case or by an affidavit explaining why the Presumed Reasonable Fee is inadequate and describing the services rendered in the case. The Clerk shall provide notice of the total fees requested.

(4)     Fees Upon Case Dismissal

If Counsel opted for the fee award process in subparagraph (b)(2) of this rule but the case is dismissed prior to confirmation of a plan, the trustee shall pay to Counsel, subject to the trustee’s percentage fee, an administrative claim equal to 50% of the unpaid balance of an allowed fee, unless the Court orders otherwise. Counsel may request within 14 days of the dismissal an award of additional fees under subparagraph (b)(3) of this rule. Counsel shall not collect, receive, or demand additional fees from the Debtor for work performed, even after dismissal, unless the Court orders otherwise.

(5)     Source of Fee Payment

Except for pre-petition retainers, all fees shall be paid through the plan and Counsel may not receive fees directly from the Debtor, unless the Court orders otherwise.

(6)     Review of Fees

On its own motion or the motion of a party in interest prior to entry of a final decree, the Court may order a hearing to review a fee paid or to be paid.