Apply to be a Panel Attorney

Thank you for considering applying to be a panel attorney with Access to Bankruptcy Court. We would not be able to provide this valuable service to the community without people like you willing to provide representation.

If you would like to apply to become a panel attorney with Access to Bankruptcy Court, please click here for a fillable application.

Access to Bankruptcy Court has two programs through which legal representation is provided to low income debtors seeking to file Chapter 7.  We encourage you to apply to participate in one or both programs – whichever works best for you.

The first program, called the Attorney Program, pays panel attorneys a flat fee to represent debtors in Chapter 7 bankruptcy whose applications are approved.

The second program, called the ABC/Cooley Bankruptcy Pro Bono Project, was created in conjunction with Thomas M. Cooley Law School and pairs a panel attorney with a law student to represent a Chapter 7 debtor approved by Access to Bankruptcy Court.  These attorneys are paid a stipend for supervising the student, thereby contributing to the student’s education and training.  The law student has the opportunity to do most of the work, including working with the client to acquire the necessary information to complete the schedules, under the supervision of the panel attorney.  Students participating in this program have received specialized training in the bankruptcy process, forms, and schedules, as well as training in the use of a bankruptcy software program.

Access to Bankruptcy Court panel attorneys are expected to provide the following services:

  • Analysis of the debtor’s financial situation, and rendering advice to the debtor in
    determining whether to file a petition in bankruptcy;
  • Preparation and filing of any petition, schedules, statement of financial affairs, plan
    and related documents which may be required, and any necessary amendments;
  • Representation of the debtor at the meeting of creditors and any adjourned
    meetings thereof;
  • Representation of the debtor in response to objections to exemptions;
  • Reaffirmations; and
  • Redemptions

Applicants who qualify for an Access to Bankruptcy Court panel attorney will also qualify to have the bankruptcy filing fees waived, and the attorney is expected to file the requisite application seeking waiver of the fees.  In the event a debtor does not qualify for the fee waiver for any reason, the debtor will be responsible for paying the court fees.  Debtors are also responsible for any credit counseling fees that are not waived by the counseling agencies.

Attorneys will not be required to represent debtors in adversary proceedings and other contested bankruptcy matters. In the event that such representation becomes necessary, the client may make his or her own arrangements with the panel attorney or another attorney.

If you think you might like to be an Access to Bankruptcy Court panel attorney and would like more information regarding our programs, please contact Karen Evangelista at 248-652-7990.  You may also find a fillable panel attorney application here.

Completed applications can be forwarded to the following:

Access to Bankruptcy Court
c/o Schafer & Weiner PLLC
Attn: Kim K. Hillary
40950 Woodward Ave.
Suite 100
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

Attorneys are always encouraged to provide any legal services on a pro bono basis.