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So the lawyer's assistant just called..

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  • So the lawyer's assistant just called..

    She confirmed I'll have to file Chapter 13 due to being just over the median income. She tells me she has the number I'll have to pay the trustee. I only had my initial consultation this past Friday and turned the paperwork in yesterday which I thought was to determine which type I would file. At that time the lawyer advised I should buy a newer car and make the first payment before filing.
    I told her I would need help with all this as I had no idea how much I should try to set as a monthly car payment, etc. She said she would have to talk to the lawyer and call me back.
    I am surrendering my house and moving to town to a rent house which will have different expenses.
    I thought they would be working with me to claim as much as I was allowed (within reason) on each category to make sure that I wasn't cutting myself short. She seemed to have no idea what the lawyer told me. Am I wrong to expect more?

  • #2
    Do not be forced into a 13 until you are confident there is no other option. You put the brakes on this situation right now and don't let them intimidate you or be pushy about it. How many attorneys have you consulted with? Unfortunately some attorneys will push for 13 because it is more money for them.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JRC View Post
      I thought they would be working with me to claim as much as I was allowed (within reason) on each category to make sure that I wasn't cutting myself short. She seemed to have no idea what the lawyer told me. Am I wrong to expect more?
      You may need to continue to shop for an attorney. There are bankruptcy attorneys that specialize in Chapter 7 and the litigation to get a Chapter 7 on a borderline case, and there are some bankruptcy attorneys that like to do Chapter 13s (although they'll do the easy Chapter 7s). Your allowed expenses should be non-negotiable, but if that still doesn't bring you into the range for a Chapter 7, then you would need to fight for some extenuating circumstances. Without owning a home, with expenses topping the local (allowed) rents, it's difficult to overcome being over-the-median. Expenses are the driving factor in over-the-median cases.

      I don't remember, but do you own a home? Also, car payments that extend over the life of any potential Chapter 13 are better (because they are likely to add more expense). There are strategies that some attorneys don't want to discuss. Your attorney actually told you to buy a new car, so they at least understand that strategy.

      Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
      Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
      Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


      I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

      Comment


      • #4
        I pretty much knew I had to do Chapter 13. I did the online means test a few times and kept still being over. I do own a home but I'm surrendering it and moving to a rent house. My home is old and I can't keep up with the maintenance and work that needs to be done on it as well as being a 50 mile round trip each day to work. My rent will be almost $150 cheaper than my mortgage and it's in town. My car is a 2006 with 91k miles and is paid for. I'm single, no kids or dependents, no medical bills, etc. Home equity loan and credit card debt. In trouble due to hours being cut for going on a year now. I'm bled dry.
        There's not much to work with on getting to a Chapter 7. I've pretty much accepted that. It was the let's do this right now feeling I got. This attorney is highly rated and was recommended to me by someone in the trustee's office. I thought it would be.. "ok now that we know what we have to do, let's get together and we'll make sure you know what you've got to work with". There was no guidance on what the allowable amounts were for each expense and what would be prudent to try for etc. Having not done this before I wondered if that's just not the way it works.

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        • #5
          Decided to not wait and called lawyer's assistant back. She said I misunderstood (embarrassed blush) and that she had been working on the numbers. She said after I told her about the possible car purchase advice, that she wanted the lawyer himself to take a look and call me back personally. She said I was borderline for 7 and that could make a difference. I don't understand how.
          Buying a car to qualify for 7 sounds like biggg trouble. I thought they take anything over a certain amount anyhow. So still confused. Anyhow, I shall wait to see what the lawyer says. I thank you both for the helpful advice.

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          • #6
            Buying a car is not big trouble at all! It's called planning. It so that if you end up in a Chapter 13 for 5 years, you don't end up with a 10+ year old car with 200,000+ miles and no reliable transportation; it is a perfectly acceptable and very common purchase. As I eluded to, the cost of the new loan give you an additional "allowable" expense (of about $489/month) for the loan and the national ownership expense as well. When you do that, you may actually be able to have enough expense to qualify for Chapter 7.
            Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
            Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
            Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


            I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

            Comment


            • #7
              I understand the reasoning behind the newer car if doing Chapter 13. That's reasonable. Buying one and in essence then qualifying for Chapter 7...makes me wonder about the cold scrutiny of the trustee.
              It's all new to me so this uncharted territory is like hitting a brick wall. I see many frightened posters (myself included) getting sound advice. I'm sure I'll settle down once some of this is all ironed out. Thank you again for taking the time to reply.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JRC View Post
                I understand the reasoning behind the newer car if doing Chapter 13. That's reasonable. Buying one and in essence then qualifying for Chapter 7...makes me wonder about the cold scrutiny of the trustee.
                Trust me... there is none. Secured-debt is generally not questioned in a Chapter 7/13 unless you either can't afford the asset, or the asset is more than any allowable expense category. Obtaining a new car when you have an older car, is smart for a Chapter 7 borderline case because it does two things. First, it lowers your disposable monthly income (DMI). Second, if you're pushed to a Chapter 13, you already have a car that will get you through 5 years without repair bills and without the worry over reliability of the vehicle. It's just smart-smart and a win-win.
                Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


                I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

                Comment


                • #9
                  That would be such a blessing. I'll cross my fingers and see what he says. One way or the other there just has to be light at the end of the tunnel. Sooner or later lol
                  Thank you

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Luxury purchases immediately prior to filing get the trustee's attention. A reliable car to replace an aging car is not a luxury purchase. You need a reliable car to get through the 13, as JustBroke mentioned. And, if the payments alter your DMI enough to get you into a 7, well, all the better.
                    This post does not constitute legal advice. If you use this advice instead of that of a lawyer, God help you.
                    Filed CH 7: 5/11/17 341: 6/12/17 Discharge: 8/14/17

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