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Attorney, 341...something feels VERY wrong after today. Advice please?

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  • Attorney, 341...something feels VERY wrong after today. Advice please?

    Long story short, I lost my job last October and filed for Chapter 13 at the end of December. I felt I had chosen a good attorney because I was strictly filing to protect my house(first and second mortgages) and car. We continued the first scheduled 341 meeting because I found employment finally.

    Fast forward to today's meeting and somehow my payment goes up 300$ more, which I cant afford. The attorney I worked with, as luck has it, wasn't the attorney who showed up at the 341 meeting.

    There was no rational explanation to me on how and why the payment was increased, and they are now going to elect a garnishment, I have been paying the trustee directly, which will cause me to lose my new job(please "No,it's illegal for them to do that. I work in finance and had to pass a background check before I was hired and if the garnishment shows up I will have to resign because I will be outside the requirements of the background check).

    I am a single mom struggling and all I want is to make my payment, keep the new wonderful job I have and meet the terms of the bankruptcy I sought to protect me, that I could afford before my payments went up so exorbitantly.

    I left multiple messages this afternoon with my attorneys office following the 341 pleading with them to answer my questions and they never returned my call. I am scared and I don't know what to do. Please help...

  • #2
    At this point I would be at the attorney's lobby - the time for phone calls is over. The fact that the attorney sent in a jr attorney to handle this 341 is a typical 'trick' the BK mills use (or attorney's that can not face their clients). Really, when you file there are two very important aspects - filling out the petition correctly (especially the budget in a Ch 13) and attending the 341. When the attorney chooses to assign to a less experienced attorney 1/2 the duties - that is where the trouble usually begins. OK, now, I am off my rant. Sorry.

    If I were you, I would be at the attorney's office today to get this straightened out. I am sure other arrangements can be made with your payment - but not if your attorney continues to drop the ball.
    Filed CH 7 9/30/2008
    Discharged Jan 5, 2009! Closed Jan 18, 2009

    I am not an attorney. None of my advice is legal advice in any way..

    Comment


    • #3
      With your new job did your income increase? At the meeting yesterday when you were advised the payment would go up $300 did you question why? You stated there was no "rational" explanation given to you so something must have been said - what did they say?

      Your first payments in a Chapter 13 are sent in directly to the Trustee; when confirmed you may be required to have a wage garnishment in place. It may be required by your state. Having a wage garnishment should not impact your job as you cannot be fired or discriminated against just for filing BK or having a wage order in place to make Chapter 13 payments from your paycheck. Since you work in finance and know the ropes, have a confidential talk with your HR manager/director about your situation and fears. It's all confidential and you are protected by privacy laws.
      _________________________________________
      Filed 5 Year Chapter 13: April 2002
      Early Buy-Out: April 2006
      Discharge: August 2006

      "A credit card is a snake in your pocket"

      Comment


      • #4
        Flamingo - she did not say she had an income increase in her post.
        She said she had a PAYMENT increase.
        Filed CH 7 9/30/2008
        Discharged Jan 5, 2009! Closed Jan 18, 2009

        I am not an attorney. None of my advice is legal advice in any way..

        Comment


        • #5
          If you already got the job and passed the background check after your Oct filing, you should be fine. I also work in the financial industry and recenlty got laid off. I was very worried about the BK, but I was just upfront with any perspective employer. It hasn't stopped me from getting interviews so far. If you already landed the job, a wage garnishment will not hurt you, the are already aware of your BK with the background check.
          Filed Chapter 13 05/23/08
          Converted to Chapter 7 Jan 2012
          Discharged April 2012

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by chloe0724 View Post
            If you already got the job and passed the background check after your Oct filing, you should be fine. I also work in the financial industry and recenlty got laid off. I was very worried about the BK, but I was just upfront with any perspective employer. It hasn't stopped me from getting interviews so far. If you already landed the job, a wage garnishment will not hurt you, the are already aware of your BK with the background check.
            Thank you, I know they can't discriminate, but it's ultimately in their hands because I made a personal decision that causes me to fall outside the job requirements. (My choice to ask for protection in order to save my house and my car.)

            Just getting in from work and reading responses, thank you so much!

            Here's my update:

            I actually DID get in touch with my attorney this morning, and we filed a motion to correct what's going on with my case. It's all ready been sent over. (They can do it online and I received an email today from the attorney confirming things are in motion.)

            I did speak up during the confirmation meeting, but apparently it fell on the deaf ears of, as someone put it, Attorney Jr. (lol) or he didn't take me seriously. The latter is my guess.

            My life/livelyhood is unfortunately in the hands of everyone else at this moment and I have never felt so worthless(mostly from not knowing enough to head every issue off at the pass). Can I just fall asleep for the 13 and someone wake me when it's all over, please?

            Edited for clarity.

            Comment


            • #7
              What job requirements do you have that you passed a background check, but can't have a wage order? A background check will show that you have filed for bankruptcy. Odds are that they already know. This may come out better for you than you think.

              Good luck.
              Filed - 12/24/08 (Merry Christmas Credit Cards!)
              341 - 2/5/09
              Confirmation - 3/13/09....Happy Dance!!!

              Comment


              • #8
                There are sufficient opinions flowing freely here, so I really don't have anything to add except...

                The Wage Deduction Order is not a garnishment. It says so in the first paragraph of the boiler plate Order!

                The Order also reads, similarly that the employer make not take any action related to the "Wage Deduction Order" or the Bankruptcy itself.

                Again, it's not a garnishment.
                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
                  Originally posted by EricaCallaha View Post
                  What job requirements do you have that you passed a background check, but can't have a wage order? A background check will show that you have filed for bankruptcy. Odds are that they already know. This may come out better for you than you think.

                  Good luck.

                  You must be an attorney.

                  Most upper level jobs in finance and accounting require that you be personally and professionally sound in money management before they will entertain extending an employment offer. It's why, generally, a comprehensive background check is required. My check was done before I filed.

                  Bad timing. Story of my life.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by justbroke View Post
                    There are sufficient opinions flowing freely here, so I really don't have anything to add except...

                    The Wage Deduction Order is not a garnishment. It says so in the first paragraph of the boiler plate Order!

                    The Order also reads, similarly that the employer make not take any action related to the "Wage Deduction Order" or the Bankruptcy itself.

                    Again, it's not a garnishment.
                    Semantics?

                    :



                    In my realm it is a garnishment order. It's stated as such on my confirmation paperwork.

                    Edit: Ok, compared the confirmation paperwork "Garnishment" with my email from my attorney today. The email from the trustee indeed says "Order" ...I wonder why the verbiage inconsistency? Maybe this is why I was so confused in the first place? What's a "boiler plate?"
                    Last edited by SngleMomSyndrme; 04-01-2009, 09:47 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SngleMomSyndrme View Post
                      Edit: Ok, compared the confirmation paperwork "Garnishment" with my email from my attorney today. The email from the trustee indeed says "Order" ...I wonder why the verbiage inconsistency? Maybe this is why I was so confused in the first place? What's a "boiler plate?"
                      I don't think it's semantics, because the U.S. Bankruptcy Court goes through pains to state that it is not a garnishment. I even thought it was some sort of garnishment myself, but was quickly pointed out, by the Trustee and my employer, that it is not a garnishment.

                      A garnishment is usually a court forcing an entity to turn over earnings or money to the Court (or some other entity). The IRS Levy, for example, is a garnishment. A Judgment creditor, would get a writ in order to garnish your wages or bank accounts.

                      The Bankruptcy Court's Wage Deduction Order is technically voluntary. There is nothing in the BK Code that directly allows it. As a matter of fact, the Bankruptcy Court can't garnish anything. That's why they always just Motion to Compel Turnover when they want something. . (okay, I'm just having fun now.)

                      While it (wage deduction) is voluntary, most Trustees will argue that it is their duty to make sure that you meet the terms of your plan and can ask for the money to be diverted. Some Districts require wage deduction, and some don't. In the ones that do require it, the Trustee would argue that you don't really want to comply, and don't deserve the full equitable power of the Court, if you don't consent to the Wage Deduction Order.

                      Remember, the Wage Deduction Order requires your consent. A garnishment (usually) requires neither your consent nor your knowledge that it's happening.

                      In any event, "boiler plate" just means that they all use a standard form and just fill out the particulars. The "Order" is the same in almost all cases.

                      I hope you find that your employer considers it for what it is... a Wage Deduction Order and not a garnishment.

                      Let me just add, that they are used interchangeably, and I don't know why. I do know that the Court is careful about stating that it's not a garnishment, and that just makes it more confusing.

                      Here's the boiler-plate Order for a Florida U.S. Bankruptcy Court District...
                      This is an order of the United States Bankruptcy Court. This is NOT a garnishment. The above-named debtor/employee, ______________________________, SS#xxx-xx-xxxx has voluntarily filed a petition and plan under Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code seeking to pay, in whole or part, certain debts under the protection of this Court. These debts are to be paid by the Chapter 13 Trustee from the debtor/employee's future earnings. It is public policy that the above-stated employer shall assist in the rehabilitation of the debtor/employee and to avoid a Chapter 7 liquidation.
                      Last edited by justbroke; 04-01-2009, 11:42 PM.
                      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

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