What if you could ease stress on the courts caused by pro se representation, build your practice and help a member of our community all at the same time? It’s possible through the newly formed Bankruptcy Modest Means Program!
The IndyBar Commercial & Bankruptcy Law Section is excited to announce the implementation of this modest means program for personal bankruptcy debtors. The program is designed to provide low-cost legal assistance to Chapter 7 bankruptcy debtors who do not qualify for free legal services through the United States Bankruptcy Court’s pro bono panel, but still cannot afford the traditional fees charged by bankruptcy attorneys.
It should come as no surprise that many Chapter 7 bankruptcy debtors do not qualify for pro bono assistance and opt to file their bankruptcy cases pro se. This program is geared to reach those individuals and to make the bankruptcy process as smooth and seamless as possible for the debtors, the trustees, the Bankruptcy Court and all other interested parties.
The program, aimed to launch by April 1, is being developed in conjunction with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana and the IndyBar Pro Bono Standing Committee. Clients must qualify to participate in the program by completing a financial qualification page, which will be added to the court’s website. The court will then direct those who are overqualified for pro bono assistance to the IndyBar, where the debtor will be referred to a modest means panelist.
Although Chapter 7 clients referred through the program must still pay legal fees, participating attorneys agree to charge no more than $500 for the services provided to these debtors. There will be no grant, fund or subsidy that makes up the difference between the attorneys’ traditional rates and the rates charged through the Modest Means program. Participating attorneys should believe in the mission of the program and want to help. IndyBar membership is required for participation, but there is no additional fee to serve as a modest means panelist.
Ready to get started or want to learn more? Contact Caren Chopp at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you! •