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What is your best advice for a successful 13?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by nobk View Post
    I am in a Ch 13 and wish I had not done it. As I see things now, we did not have to do it. If you stop paying the credit cards, because you can't and any unsecured creditor, you can use the $$$ to feed and clothe your family. The act of a BK will drop an atom bomb on your credit and all the threats of lawsuits, taking your children and harrasing phone calls can be stopped if you become familiar with the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), a federal set of guidelines. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/cons...edit/cre27.pdf


    With a proper budget and lifestyle, with a new behavior towards credit, you can avoid this drastic decision. You don't need to spend big $$$$$ to have a company "settle" your debts, and I know the BK attorneys won't like me, but you don't need them either. the debt settlement companies are ripoff schemes, I know I got ripped off. You just need to decide that you, and only you will decide to deal with all of this crap and devote an average of 20 months to get out of debt without a BK. You can settle for pennies on the dollar by yourself. I don't have any book to sell, nothing to sell. I can show you the way and I won't charge you $1. I am trying to help others avoid this.

    Thank you and stay strong. Hug your wife, your children and your husband. Stay close to good relationships during this difficult phase, it will pass. But I say NO to BK! contact me at [email removed] if you want more info.


    NOBK
    using the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act and i net forums that support it i kept the collectors at bay, most jest sold the debt to another when challenged them. this worked for about 3 years till 1 debt collector decided not to give up so easy. they used some tactics that blind sided me like the "hip pocket summons" i was severed and i answered i checked the court house to see if they payed the 250 to file. and i was ready to pay 250 to file if they did. well i did not know the clock was ticking do to my failure to a supply a affirmative defense and some other documents in the 30 days. after i received them in the mail. when the 30 days were up they went to the court house saying that i failed to respond and paid the 250 and a default judgment was granted that day. with in a week the money in the bank was taken pay check garnished and a letter sent wanting to know all property i have. bankruptcy
    saved my house.

    when you get served requiring you to answer to a attorney you need to make some fast decisions.

    till then read this forum to make you best case if and when that time comes.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by zpbk13 View Post
      Just received word from our attorney that after running the numbers, it looks like we are definitely in a 13 and that our payment plan will be about $375 per month which seems to work out to a 55% repayment after factoring in attorney and trustee fees. Our cars are being paid outside the plan so now we just need to decide if we should cram down the older vehicle. We have three years left at $433 per month but if we do the cramdown it will take it out to 5 years at about $250 per month. But my understanding is that any "savings" we would see would go to unsecure creditors so that may not be the best strategy regarding the vehicle. Will talk to the attorney further about that.

      Now for the advice. Since many chapter 13 plans fail, and my husband and I are not used to living on a budget, what advice can those of you deep into your plans or those that have successfuly completed your plan can you share with those of us who are just setting our feet on this journey? I would love to hear any tips or strategies you have employed. Thanks in advance!
      Just know that you will be loosing some control over your finances. Raises, tax refunds, bonuses... yes, they will most likely be taken. Just because the amount planned to pay back right now is 55%, that doesn't mean that you won't have to pay back 85% if you make more money. That's what so many are confused with. It's almost better to pay back 100% if you can, then as long as your plan is on track there won't be a need to take additional raises and you can pay off early. Anything less than 100% is a 5 year sentence where you are not in control. If it's the best you can do, it's worth it to get cleared out but don't jump to a 13 to "save" money on the payback. That's false in my opinion!

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by morpheus View Post
        Just know that you will be loosing some control over your finances. Raises, tax refunds, bonuses... yes, they will most likely be taken. Just because the amount planned to pay back right now is 55%, that doesn't mean that you won't have to pay back 85% if you make more money. That's what so many are confused with. It's almost better to pay back 100% if you can, then as long as your plan is on track there won't be a need to take additional raises and you can pay off early. Anything less than 100% is a 5 year sentence where you are not in control. If it's the best you can do, it's worth it to get cleared out but don't jump to a 13 to "save" money on the payback. That's false in my opinion!

        if you pass the means test your ch 13 can be 36 months.


        more money, raises, don't turn them down trusty may not care about 10% increase. if you do some research you can figure out real close what will happen if you decide on bankruptcy. also you will have a clue if your lawyer is making mistakes. mine made a lot from cars that i never owned to creditors that were left out. value of items that were not even close to what i given them. i had to dam near hold the paralegal / accountant hand to fix there mistakes with out failing the means test.

        the reason i did not represent my self is i though it would screw up filling a document and would be screwed forever.

        at least the lawyer knows filing

        Comment


        • #34
          One of the prior posts was important. It said maintain self-control. That is what it takes. A little self-control and knowledge of what is going on. I spent 20 years as a certified bankruptcy Attorney and handled thousands of Chapter 13 cases. The majority of my cases were completed and discharged because my clients were aware of what was going on, what their responsibilities were and what they needed to do. I always felt that communication with your Attorney is critical. When you have questions, ask your lawyer, don't assume anything. The fees charged in a 13 are usually flat fee arrangements so you should not be charged for phone calls and correspondence. Their job is to help you get through the case and deal with the problems.

          It is also very helpful to let your lawyer know if you are anticipating problems (such as inability to pay a required payment). This will allow them a proactive approach rather then reactive. Sometimes you can get a suspension of payments for a few months. It is easier to deal with than having to respond to motions to dismiss your case or to vacate your protection after the fact.

          I also suggest a wage garnishment for your trustee payments. This assures the payment is made timely. It is easier to live on what is left (If you can't, the plan would fail anyway). Bankruptcy law is very powerful and affords a lot of protection and if you need it, it can get you straightened out and on the right path.

          A prior post recommended hiring a Consumer protection Attorney. I ask why? The only thing they can do is protect you under the appropriate protection Statutes from illegal collection activities. This does not solve your problem with all your debt like a Chapter 13 does. Chapter 13 cases work when they are needed. Keep in mind also that maintaining all payments inside and outside your plan is essential to not only maintaining your plan but building your credit while you are in the plan. I had many clients build their credit so that when the plan was completed, they had substantially higher credit scores and were on their way to credit recovery as well as reduced debt. People believe mistakenly that your credit is ruined for 7 to 10 years. this is not true and what was your credit like before you filed?

          Every Chapter 13 case is different and every case requires a different payout to creditors predicated upon your personal financial circumstances (ex.: your income/expenses and equity position of major assets.

          Remember, credit is very important and during and after bankruptcy, you have to keep an eye on that. Good Luck

          [removed link]
          Last edited by HHM; 02-11-2010, 10:22 PM.

          Comment


          • #35
            number one is be at peace within your situation. It is not easy to complete so be prepared and keep your faith close, it gonna be needed in the months ahead.

            Once your in your plan and paying, make a budget, a budget that will allow you to save and watch the savings grow.

            look for ways to add to your savings buy cutting down your bills, every little does help, believe me.

            Dollar stores, resale shops, saving for car repairs outside your no touch savings, save alot stores, coupons and I even use the UPS driving rules, making only right hand turns when I do have to do alot of running around so I sweep in a circle and use very little gas, housing, once in your plan move to a home with a few dollars less then what you are paying and save more, cut off cell phones you dont use and I went for the pay as you go, make dinners in bulk, use rice, pastas and potato, chili, soups, make your own bisquits and so on.

            entertainment, mine is painting drawing which I havent done is ages so thats one thing that I reinvented, rental movies on occasion with a pizza, this way its really really special. I try very hard to cut down the heating, water usage and electric, I happend to like candles alot. Mediatate, nice music, a nice dinner with candles always helps with the rigid guidlines of chap13. Gosh, this is my first time on this site and I really came to a realization that we have come along way and struggling hard but all in all, always remember to lower your happinesses to real life, a roof over your head, some money in the bank and food on the table. I just cannot wait to be done with it but all and all we will be happy to have paid our debts back to the people we borrowed from. hang in there and make a family plan, a family budget and what is going to help with getting through it like your entertainment. Good luck and blessings
            Chapter13
            100% unsecured/secured payback
            "WAITING FOR DISCHARGE" DONE!

            Comment


            • #36
              New to BK 13 and totally SCARED!

              Hi All,

              We live in CT and just filled for BK 13. We only have about 35K in CC debt but had to foreclose on a house that we owned in AZ back in September and may possibly owe 100K from that. We tried everything to keep / sell the house. Bank was a jerk!

              Our payback is coming in around $1350 per month. I am scared to death because my husband has a job where he can get bonus but does not always get them and this payback includes some of the bonus that he got in the last 6 months. What will we do if he does not get bonus? On the flip side, What will we do if he earns a lot of bonus? It is not guaranteed income, sad that they can include that. I am a stay at home mom and considered going back to work but that means that they will just take more money from us, so there is no benefit to my family there...

              Here are a few questions that I have, if anyone has the desire and time to answer them, I would be very grateful!

              What do you do if your income is less than your qualifying income?

              What will they do if you get a raise or a large bonus? Do I have to call them and tell them?

              Anyone out there doing BK 13 in Connecticut? I'd love to hear your experience!

              What if my husband's company tells us that we have to move to another state? It happens every few years.

              Can I move into a cheaper house or will the money I save have to also go to the trustee?

              Does the trustee check your tax returns every year?

              How often do you guys hear from your trustee?

              What is a cram down?

              Thanks so much for all of your help and time with this matter! I really appreciated it!

              Have a great day!
              Kim
              Filed on March 31, 2010
              Trustee Meeting 341 on April 29, 2010

              Comment


              • #37
                My husband and I have been in bankruptcy since 2006 so we are 42 months into this mess! I would check with your lawyer to see if you qualify for a chapter 7 instead of a 13. If you pass the means test then if all you really have is credit card debt I would really question your attorney why a chapter 13. My husband's income is above the income level to qualify for a chapter 7. We didn't own any real property just furnishings and 2 cars at the time of filing. My husband had to file bankruptcy because of loss of employment and lost his home, car to repossession. Back before 2005 basically anyone could file for a chapter 7. Chapter 13 was initially designed to keep real estate and valuables. But, congress was lobbied by credit card companies to change the bankruptcy laws. It wasn't intended for people to repay just credit card debt and such. Whatever you file as your income is usually what your payments will be to the court. You are given a budget or income guidelines when you file a chapter 13. This with your last 6 months of income will determine your court payments. Then when the plan is confirmed usually nothing will change as long as there are no changes in your income. (Bonuses are usually included in the repayment plan. But I would first check with your attorney). If there is a loss or adjustment in the income tell your attorney asap. If your income falls below the income at any time, then maybe the court will modify your payments or change it to a chapter 7. I've also read that if the plan is a hardship to you that you can have the case discharged completely under a hardship case. Nothing is written in stone with your bankruptcy that's why only around 40% of all chapter 13 cases are discharged. Trustees will only contact you if you fail to make your payments or at the year to send you a receipt of pay outs on your case. The bankruptcy court in the US is so really backlogged right now because of people trying to keep their homes and foreclosures. The main thing is to keep your head above water. Be proactive in your case. Keep every piece of correspondence you receive from the court, trustee, and your attorney. I have kept everything in one place. My car that I had when I filed had to be replaced. We managed to get financed, found our car and then petitioned the court to incur debt. That was a nightmare in itself! It took over 3 weeks just to get the motion heard. Thankfully in the end we budgeted for the car in our expenses. I would be very, very careful with any extra money. I would put cash away for emergencies. I'm a coupon queen. End of season clearance expert. I recently went to Kmart and bought basically a new wardrobe for around $75 for both my husband and I for next winter. The clothes were all marked $2.99 each. You learn to live within your means and sometimes you find enjoyment in unexpected areas. My husband and I love working out at our local gym. We pay $20 a month for the gym membership and we both get to use it. We rent movies for $1 or buy used movies for $1 at a local bookstore which sells used books and movies. We just watch the movies then take the movie back and get a few cents for it afterwards. We appreciate things more, but can't wait to get out of bankruptcy in 2012 or maybe sooner! I wish you all the best. The best advice is be your own advocate. Be proactive in your case and keep abreast of everything with your attorney. Good luck!

                Comment


                • #38
                  Thanks Muzzey, We do not qualify for a chapter 7, really wish we did!!! Our case is a lot like yours, we just have cc dept and maybe the payment to the second if they fight for it. We should be protected under Arizona's Anti-Deficiency laws because that is where we bought the house but the mortgage companies are getting creative to fight those laws so be safe we decided to do a BK13. The mortgage companies have 6 years to come after you and who knows what the laws will be then?! We just want to know that in 5 years we can go on with our lives. Our children are young now and hopefully not feel the effects of our BK.

                  I know what you mean about enjoying the bargains. I've always been a bargain hunter and love to shop at Savers and Good Will. I recently went to Savers and bought 3 pairs of name brand short in like new condition, a brand new pair of Lands End Duck shoes, a couple tee-shirts and a few books and a game for my son for under $50. Basically I'm done with my summer clothes shopping. I bought a bunch of shirts and shorts at the end of the season last year for my kids so they are also set for the summer. I only wish I could find a bargain on kids shoes. During the summer they wear Old Navy flip flops at $2.50 per pair (and so do I).

                  I'm just worried because I know we are going to need a new mattress for our bed because the one we have is over 8 years old and was a very cheap quality mattress when we bought it. Do I ask for permission to buy a new one, or do I run out and buy one now? We have a few thousand in the bank right now. Nothing too crazy but a buffer. We've been saving so that we have some emergency money for when we start our BK.

                  What do the 60% that don't complete their BK do? How do they get out of it?

                  I'm just scared! I don't know how to be an advocate and don't understand how this works yet. I know it's going to be hard but am not so sure the rest of my family knows what we are in for.

                  Thanks for responding to me! It's a lonely process! I'm so happy that you will done with this soon!!!! That has to feel good!

                  Have a great day!
                  Filed on March 31, 2010
                  Trustee Meeting 341 on April 29, 2010

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    What you mentioned about the 60% is broken down into two repayments. The first is the what the trustee or court posts as "priority" and non-priority repayments. The priority payments are such creditors as the IRS, State Revenue, City Revenue or taxes, car loans, house mortgages and such. These all have priority over all the other debt claims. These will be the first items paid for on your case. The non-priority claims will then receive payment have all the other items are usually paid off. If there is any extra money after the priority claims are paid then they disperse the rest on the non-priority claims which are usually the credit cards and other types of non secured credit. We had this happen to us. Our car loan, IRS debt were priority and the credit cards were and are being paid off. Our old car was paid off through the bankruptcy. It is now that most of the other claims are being paid. Sometimes what I have read online is that all the debt will not be repaid. The credit card companies I believe are really only paid back a percentage of the original debt. So even in my case, when the case is due to end according to the judge then that's what they will end up with when the case is discharged. The main reason for bankruptcy in chapter 13 is for protection from creditors to stop lawsuits and garnishments. In my state an old debt can linger for 15 years which is absolutely ridiculous. I'm originally from PA and the statue of limitations is 4 years for a debt. PA doesn't allow creditors to garnish your wages over old credit debt. I was never sued in PA. but my husband who is from Ohio was sued for a debt that was 14 years old when the credit crunch started back in 2005. So whatever the trustee or judge allows for repayment at the end of case will be repaid on whatever they receive. It will usually state that you will repay this percentage and this length of months at your confirmation. But remember nothing is set in stone on a chapter 13. Our first attorney agreed to an 80% and 60 month at $1600 a month. I was working at the time and had to quit work because of a bad shoulder injury I suffered while working as a nurse aide. I'm still recuperating. After I quit we were living on shoestrings basically. My first attorney said that we would live because my husband received a $25 a week raise. We fired him because of his incompetence. Our new attorney petitioned the court for lower pay outs at 55% and 55 months at $1100 a month which has helped significantly. This is why I say you have to be your own advocate. The court only cares about the payouts. You know your situation. If anything at all changes contact your attorney asap. A good attorney will help you. My attorney is helping us at every stage. We are receiving collection calls from one of the creditors who is listed on our case. A collection agency or creditor can be sued if they contact you or harass you while you in are in bankruptcy protection. I felt scared at first then as time wore on you got use not seeing the extra money, but you feel a little secure in the knowledge that you can't be sued. This is a scary prospect at first, but will get better. I don't look at the numbers or the road ahead. I just take everything one day at a time and before you realize it you'll be done with this mess. I wish you the all the best. Take care.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Thanks again for the information. It is good to know that if something goes wrong with my atty that we can get a new one and that sometimes that is better. Like I stated before, this is a very lonely process! It's not like I can just call my friends/family and vent to them about what we are going through. I don't think that they would understand and some could be judgmental.

                      So glad that I found this forum!

                      Have a great weekend!
                      Kim
                      Filed on March 31, 2010
                      Trustee Meeting 341 on April 29, 2010

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        I am honestly still scared to death of the entire proccess.
                        I have not paid on most of our $39,000 in credit debt for almost three years but have been paying an attorney payments here and there until our fee is paid. We also quit paying our 2nd mortgage over a year ago and started then ended a trial plan with BofA on the 2nd. BofA has a reputation of stringing people along then denying thier modification, so no $$$ for them if I can help it. We are upside down on the house with the first alone anyway.
                        Could having the above timeline and situation be considered fraud?
                        Well Decemember was a good month for me so I settled with one of my largest creditors for 25 cents on the dollar and was wondering if maybe I should just continue that route. I am now down to $30,000.
                        I would still have the 2nd to deal with but if they would settle for 25% with payments over a few years then I could stay out of the 13 plan. I cannot go with a 7 as I am not current on my 2nd and my income is borderline.
                        Sorry if this may be in the wrong area.
                        11/23/'10-filed ch 13. 1/6/'11-341, confirmed. Below median. Plan completed 11/30/2015. DISSCHARGED 4/4/2016.JP

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          One of the best things that you can do to ensure that you have a successful Chapter 13 bankruptcy is to ensure that your expenses are accurate. Most clients fail to take the time to calculate what there actual expenses on items such as Gas for vehicles are. Putting a lower amount expense on your sheet creates more excess income to give to creditors. If your expenses are higher than what was listed on your bankruptcy petition, then this will create an unfeasible budget to live off of in the future.
                          deleted by moderator

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            I am pretty sure that I got enough extra in there to give us a small pad, but that is some great advise and I could see where people would not list enough expenses. I went through our entire year of spending by pulling all of our bank statements and categorizing everything, so I know I didn't miss anything.

                            I have not had my 341 meeting yet and just found out from my landlord that he's going to sell the house that we are living in. I'm not going to be able to find something as cheap as what I'm paying here so how do I handle that? Do I just rent another place and then go to the trustee and ask for an adjustment?

                            Thanks so much for everyone's advice!!! It is nice not feeling like I am all alone in this!!!
                            Filed on March 31, 2010
                            Trustee Meeting 341 on April 29, 2010

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by BKchapter13 View Post
                              number one is be at peace within your situation. It is not easy to complete so be prepared and keep your faith close, it gonna be needed in the months ahead.

                              Once your in your plan and paying, make a budget, a budget that will allow you to save and watch the savings grow.

                              look for ways to add to your savings buy cutting down your bills, every little does help, believe me.

                              Dollar stores, resale shops, saving for car repairs outside your no touch savings, save alot stores, coupons and I even use the UPS driving rules, making only right hand turns when I do have to do alot of running around so I sweep in a circle and use very little gas, housing, once in your plan move to a home with a few dollars less then what you are paying and save more, cut off cell phones you dont use and I went for the pay as you go, make dinners in bulk, use rice, pastas and potato, chili, soups, make your own bisquits and so on.

                              entertainment, mine is painting drawing which I havent done is ages so thats one thing that I reinvented, rental movies on occasion with a pizza, this way its really really special. I try very hard to cut down the heating, water usage and electric, I happend to like candles alot. Mediatate, nice music, a nice dinner with candles always helps with the rigid guidlines of chap13. Gosh, this is my first time on this site and I really came to a realization that we have come along way and struggling hard but all in all, always remember to lower your happinesses to real life, a roof over your head, some money in the bank and food on the table. I just cannot wait to be done with it but all and all we will be happy to have paid our debts back to the people we borrowed from. hang in there and make a family plan, a family budget and what is going to help with getting through it like your entertainment. Good luck and blessings
                              This information is so helpful, I just came home from my attorney's office and we just signed our Chapter 13 paperwork. I feel so bad we had to do this but with a spouses job loss, underwater home, and heavy medical bills for a diabetic child we had no other choice. This forum is very helpful and I appreciate the info
                              Chapter 7 filed 11/4/10 ---- 341 Meeting 12/1/10 ---- Discharge 1/31/2011.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by BKchapter13 View Post
                                number one is be at peace within your situation. It is not easy to complete so be prepared and keep your faith close, it gonna be needed in the months ahead.

                                Once your in your plan and paying, make a budget, a budget that will allow you to save and watch the savings grow.

                                look for ways to add to your savings buy cutting down your bills, every little does help, believe me.

                                Dollar stores, resale shops, saving for car repairs outside your no touch savings, save alot stores, coupons and I even use the UPS driving rules, making only right hand turns when I do have to do alot of running around so I sweep in a circle and use very little gas, housing, once in your plan move to a home with a few dollars less then what you are paying and save more, cut off cell phones you dont use and I went for the pay as you go, make dinners in bulk, use rice, pastas and potato, chili, soups, make your own bisquits and so on.

                                entertainment, mine is painting drawing which I havent done is ages so thats one thing that I reinvented, rental movies on occasion with a pizza, this way its really really special. I try very hard to cut down the heating, water usage and electric, I happend to like candles alot. Mediatate, nice music, a nice dinner with candles always helps with the rigid guidlines of chap13. Gosh, this is my first time on this site and I really came to a realization that we have come along way and struggling hard but all in all, always remember to lower your happinesses to real life, a roof over your head, some money in the bank and food on the table. I just cannot wait to be done with it but all and all we will be happy to have paid our debts back to the people we borrowed from. hang in there and make a family plan, a family budget and what is going to help with getting through it like your entertainment. Good luck and blessings
                                This information is so helpful, I just came home from my attorney's office and we just signed our Chapter 13 paperwork. I feel so bad we had to do this but with a spouses job loss, underwater home, and heavy medical bills for a diabetic child we had no other choice. This forum is very helpful and I appreciate the info

                                Out attorney had us put my husbands unemployment into the budget even thou he does not qualify for unemployment till September when his severance runs out. He said with out his income added in we would not qualify.

                                He then told us that he put in the prelimanary numbers but that the trustee always objects and chances are it will be bumped up to higher then the 14% we are at for payback. We were put on the 5 year plan as he stated we did not qualify for the 3 year plan.

                                This is so confusing...We felt very rushed by our attorney to just sign and get going
                                Chapter 7 filed 11/4/10 ---- 341 Meeting 12/1/10 ---- Discharge 1/31/2011.

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