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If you need to file quickly but can't afford Ch. 7, should you go Ch. 13?

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  • If you need to file quickly but can't afford Ch. 7, should you go Ch. 13?

    I have some concerns about being able to pay my attorney's fees in time for a Chapter 7 filing to help me avoid lawsuits, etc. I know that sometimes with a Chapter 13 you can file before having paid all the fees and have your attorney's fees added to the repayment plan.

    If it becomes an issue of needing to file quickly in order to avoid judgments, set-offs, etc., is filing Chapter 13 a good idea? What would be the pros and cons of going that route?

  • #2
    Filing a 13 would be stupid if a 7 is the correct chapter. Most attnys want legal fees paid up front regardless of chapter. In a 7 it is typically the entire fee charged. In a 13 it is a retainer of some amount with the balance paid through the Plan.

    I do not see the rush. What happens if a creditor gets a judgment? At that point the creditor would be free to garnish wages, hit bank accts, etc. The minute the bk is filed all of that stops. Are you about to be hit with a garnishment or are you just concerned some creditor may sue you and get a judgment?

    Alternatively, if you are in a pinch, and, while I do not recommend it, you can file on your own. The filing fee of $306 can be paid in installments.

    Des.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by despritfreya View Post
      Filing a 13 would be stupid if a 7 is the correct chapter. Most attnys want legal fees paid up front regardless of chapter. In a 7 it is typically the entire fee charged. In a 13 it is a retainer of some amount with the balance paid through the Plan.

      I do not see the rush. What happens if a creditor gets a judgment? At that point the creditor would be free to garnish wages, hit bank accts, etc. The minute the bk is filed all of that stops. Are you about to be hit with a garnishment or are you just concerned some creditor may sue you and get a judgment?

      Alternatively, if you are in a pinch, and, while I do not recommend it, you can file on your own. The filing fee of $306 can be paid in installments.

      Des.
      I am not currently in a pinch, but I do have a baby coming in less than a month and am totally freaked out at the prospect of having my pay and/or bank accounts taken while I'm trying to afford diapers, food, etc. I was hoping to pay the attorney by the end of this month, but more baby expenses came up and now it looks like that's not going to be possible, and it may not be possible for several months due to my wife not working. That's the general source of my anxiety.

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      • #4
        Just double checking-- you did stop paying the cc's, right?
        Filing a 13 instead of a 7 is a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad....idea.
        (Add "Alexander and the" to this and you will have a fun book to read your kid a few years from now)
        You have time to start saving up. A lawyer I spoke to required 1/3 to retain, 1/3 to file, 1/3 by 341. I'm sure there are others willing to work the same way.

        Keep On Smilin'

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        • #5
          Originally posted by keepsmiling View Post
          Just double checking-- you did stop paying the cc's, right?
          Filing a 13 instead of a 7 is a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad....idea.
          (Add "Alexander and the" to this and you will have a fun book to read your kid a few years from now)
          You have time to start saving up. A lawyer I spoke to required 1/3 to retain, 1/3 to file, 1/3 by 341. I'm sure there are others willing to work the same way.
          Yes, I have stopped paying the credit cards and my car payment. I've given my attorney the retainer amount plus a little more. I owe him about $900 for the remainder of the fees, of which I plan on paying him $300 from my next paycheck... But beyond that, once my wife stops working and the baby gets here, there's a bit of red in our budget that I need to make up, and I'm not sure when my wife will be going back to work. I do know that we'll be taking her off of my health insurance once the baby's born and she's had her post-natal check-ups completed, but that probably won't be until late August at the earliest. I'm just not sure how concerned I should be about judgments, etc., between now and the time I'll be able to pay my attorney. At this point I'm only about 15 days late on some payments, and others I haven't even missed, yet...

          Comment


          • #6
            You have plenty of time. MINIMUM 3 months, more likely 6, and possibly longer than that.
            It took Chase over 2 years to sue me. Some people never get sued.
            Relax,save your pennies, and think positive. You'll be fine.
            Your energies will be better focused on figuring out ways to get some assistance and/or make more money.

            Keep On Smilin'

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by keepsmiling View Post
              You have plenty of time. MINIMUM 3 months, more likely 6, and possibly longer than that.
              It took Chase over 2 years to sue me. Some people never get sued.
              Relax,save your pennies, and think positive. You'll be fine.
              Your energies will be better focused on figuring out ways to get some assistance and/or make more money.
              Good to know. Thank you for all the support. Sorry I keep posting all these "freak out" posts, but it is quite scary going from being someone who has ALWAYS paid his bills on time to being close to filing bankruptcy with a kid on the way. Though I'm sure the experience is far from uncommon given the poor economic performance in this part of the world (and everywhere).

              Comment


              • #8
                Aw wellnow, NO APOLOGY needed. We're all BTDT.
                I was literally in a cold sweat the first time I missed a payment. My dh had to physically restrain me from rushing to the phone to make a last-second pay. I still remember it was Aug 14. It's definitely not what we expected but .... it is what it is.

                Keep On Smilin'

                Comment


                • #9
                  i think we all go through that when we stop paying our cc at first! it's like you think the police will come and arrest you.

                  like everyone says, NO 13 when you can go 7. shoot we took a year to pay our atty just about $100 a month, since i had to save for moving and other expenses. we had more attys than not try and steer us into 13s...we personally would have been in so much financial trouble had we followed their advise, making 13 payments on unemployment insurance, a pension and ss. (all exempt income by the by). so just hold tight, you'll make it. it's a bit scary, we all know this, but you can do this. keep paying your atty until you can or chose to file.
                  8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! http://www.bkforum.com/blog.php?32727-tobee43 and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK http://www.bkforum.com/group.php?groupid=9

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