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Unpaid Chapter 13 Legal Fees Should not be Discharged According to Latest ABI Poll

Contact: John Hartgen
             (703) 739-0800
             [email protected]



July 31, 2006, Alexandria, Va. — The majority of respondents to a recent American Bankruptcy Institute online poll agreed that remaining legal fees unpaid after a chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding has been discharged must be paid by the debtor and should not be discharged, even though the confirmed plan provides that fees can be paid directly by the debtor. Forty-seven percent “strongly agreed,” while an additional 14 percent of respondents “agreed somewhat” that unpaid legal fees should be paid by the debtor after the debtor’s chapter 13 case is discharged.

Conversely, 23 percent of respondents disagreed that unpaid legal fees in a chapter 13, even if the filing has been discharged, should be paid by the debtor. Twelve percent “strongly disagreed,” while 11 percent “disagreed somewhat.” Fifteen percent of the respondents did not know or had no opinion on the issue.

ABI membership and members of the public were welcome to submit their response to the statement: “Legal fees remaining unpaid post-discharge in chapter 13 must be paid by the debtor and are not discharged, even though the confirmed plan provides that fees can be paid directly by the debtor.” The latest ABI Quick Poll was open for voting to the public from July 21 – July 27.

ABI’s weekly Quick Poll is posted on ABI’s home page, ABI members and the public are invited to respond to a question on a timely bankruptcy or insolvency issue. Visit to access the results of previous ABI Quick Polls.


ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes more than 11,500 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit For additional conference information, visit