Consumer Bankruptcy Journal Winter 2018 - Page 31

Reimbursement of Advances fees and costs should be compensated because they were certainly reasonable and necessary. Counsel argued that the debtor was three months behind in her car payments and that she could not afford to pay the fees and costs prior to filing and prevent her car from being repossessed. The court disagreed and indicated that since debtor’s counsel had elected to take the flat fee, in lieu of submitting a formal fee application pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 2016(b), counsel could not add the pre-petition fees and costs. Further the court found that the filing fee and costs of credit counsel and the credit report were effectively the cost of admission and could not be reimbursed. If the debtor was unable to pay the filing fee, the debtor could have applied to pay the filing fee in installments pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1930(a) (7) and Bankruptcy Rule 1006(b). The court did concede that filing fees might be paid from the debtor’s estate but only if approved by the court and when the debtor can demonstrate why they must pay in installments. The court concluded by stating that debtors’ attorneys can effectively solve this problem by as