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At my wit's end....

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  • At my wit's end....

    We filed in December of 2010. My husband was unemployed at that time. Shortly after he got a new job making the same amount of money an hour that he is now, and our payment went up about $200 a month, which made sense because he was techincally BRINGING HOME $800 more a month (but we had more bills due to child care, gas, etc.).
    I need a new vehicle, and 3 weeks ago sent all of my new financial info into my attorney's office. The paralegal is the ONLY person I ever hear from. It took her 3 weeks to send something back saying that because of our jump in income and our fewer expenses, our payment would be going from $1800 a month to $3000 a month!!!! WHAT????? Here are my questions:

    1. The financial info she used - the bk payment is garnished from my check. So, she used my GROSS income - and left the bk money in there - making it look like I bring a whole lot more home than I do. The issue that I see is that she didn't allot for the mortgage payment, etc. in my expenses. So, it looks like I bring home $4200 a month - when in all actuality I bring home $1400 a month if you take out the bk money. If you leave it in I bring home $3200 a month. With leaving the bk money in, and it looking like I have all that money - and no mortgage payment or bk payment coming out, makes up for the additional money....there has been 0 change to our financials, and more expenses. Is there somewhere I can put EVERYTHING in and see what it actually should be??

    2. It took them 3 weeks to respond to me. That's entirely to long, but common for them. Is it possible to switch attorneys?

    3. We have $5000 in arrears on our mortgage, 2 acres of land that bumps up against our house that we bought separately after moving there and that we own free and clear, and an atv. Can we go to Chapter 7? The stress of the 13 and this attorney is too much for me anymore and I can't do this for another 2 years...can't.

    4. Any advice?? They want to meet with us, but can't meet with us for another month. I have told them to NOT file ANYTHING until we meet with them. I don't want my payment to be changed like that, esepcially when something is wrong. If that is what they are going to try and say, then we will have to dump the 13 and pray we can get into a 7.

    Thank you!!!

  • #2
    Can't meet with your attorney for a month? That's unacceptable IMO. I would be on the phone or camping out in their office. You have serious financial issues that need addressing now.

    Hang in there, the experts should be on here with some advice soon. Sorry, I'm not one.

    Comment


    • #3
      Initially it was 2 1/2 weeks, but I told them I couldn't do that day. So, they bumped it out more. He only has 1 paralegal now I guess, and she went on vacation.....

      Comment


      • #4
        1. I think you are missing the point. If she had deducted your Plan payment as a typical payroll deduction, your bottom line disposable income would have simply showed the ability to pay $1200.00 more per month to the creditors. That would have increased the payment by $1200.00 to the same $3000.00 she is mentioning. Now if she failed to list an expenses (mortgage on home you are keeping) that is a different story.

        When I cannot get the numbers to work I make my clients come in and sit down with me to go over them. That way there is no mis-communication. Set an appointment with the paralegal and go over the numbers.

        2. Are you asking if you can fire your current attny and hire a new one from a different firm? Yes you can but, before you do, you need to find an attny willing to take over the case. That may be a difficult task.

        3. If you file a 7 you will lose the home unless you work it out with the lender. The land, assuming there is no exemption to cover it, and any other non-exempt items of value will be taken from you and sold by the Trustee. The other problem is whether or not you can convert. If you have the ability to make Plan payments based upon your current income and expenses you may not qualify for a 7.

        4. No other advice except for taking the attny’s office up on meeting with them. Once you do you will have more information as to what the problems are. Discuss the Chapter 7 if you no longer want to keep the home, land and other non-exempt property.

        Des.

        Comment


        • #5
          That is the issue, on my schedule J it does not show my mortgage payment, van payment, or any other payments that I would have if I were NOT in a chapter 13 already. If she is going to show ALL of my income, shouldn't those be listed somewhere?

          Why may it be difficult to find a new attorney to take the case?

          Home/Land - between my husband and I dont we get to keep $42000 worth of equity? That would cover that land.

          Thanks!

          Comment


          • #6
            Is there anywhere that I can go to fill out all of the paperwork in template form? I am not sure what else to do, and having to wait a month is horrible.


            Thanks

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mrobinette View Post
              . . . it does not show my mortgage payment, van payment, or any other payments that I would have if I were NOT in a chapter 13 already. If she is going to show ALL of my income, shouldn't those be listed somewhere?
              NO. Schedule J shows your expenses while in the 13. Income minus allowed expenses ='s Plan payment. If your mortgage payment is included in the Plan payment (some jurisdictions do this), it would not be also included on Schedule J. Your vehicle, I assume, is paid through the Plan so why would you also include that payment on J?


              Originally posted by mrobinette View Post
              Why may it be difficult to find a new attorney to take the case

              Attorneys do not like to take over cases. Many times doing so requires cleaning up someone else's mess. Not fun.

              Originally posted by mrobinette View Post
              . Home/Land - between my husband and I dont we get to keep $42000 worth of equity? That would cover that land.
              Cannot answer this. I do not know Ohio exemptions.

              Originally posted by mrobinette View Post
              Is there anywhere that I can go to fill out all of the paperwork in template form?
              Go to your bk court's web site. They may be a link to "official forms".


              Des.

              Comment


              • #8
                THIS is exactly why being in 13 is like being in a state of limbo.

                If you have ANY financial changes to your situation (new job, need a car, need to move, whatever), and then you have to submit these to the court as is mandatory, you then open yourself up to all sorts of possibly deleterious effects to the livability of the Plan.

                I know I'm HATING being in this 13 for that very reason. My life seems to be in a 5 year stasis, and I'm only 16 months in.

                I fear the exact type of situation mrobinette finds themselves in should I want to make any changes in my life.

                I wish I had something positive to contribute, but I can only wish you the best in this situation.
                Filed CH 7 Sept. 2011 - UST Motion to Dismiss (presumption of abuse) Dec. 2011 - Converted to CH 13 Feb. 2012 - Plan Confirmation May 2012 - Expected Discharge June 2017

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by alorth View Post
                  THIS is exactly why being in 13 is like being in a state of limbo.

                  If you have ANY financial changes to your situation (new job, need a car, need to move, whatever), and then you have to submit these to the court as is mandatory, you then open yourself up to all sorts of possibly deleterious effects to the livability of the Plan.

                  I know I'm HATING being in this 13 for that very reason. My life seems to be in a 5 year stasis, and I'm only 16 months in.

                  I fear the exact type of situation mrobinette finds themselves in should I want to make any changes in my life.

                  I wish I had something positive to contribute, but I can only wish you the best in this situation.
                  The OP's husband got a job resulting in an increase in income. That's a good thing even if it does raise the plan payment. The real problem the OP is having is a communication problem with her attorney. It's not really a problem with the Chap 13. I suspect things will work out, her payment will be reasonable and she'll finish her plan.

                  Yes, life changes can complicate a 13, but that doesn't mean you have to be in a state of limbo. Just don't be so afraid of change. I'm 3 years into my 5 year Chap 13. I am considering applying for a job that could mean a pay increase of as high as 15%. I know this very well could mean an increase in my plan payment. But, that won't stop me from taking a job that should last well past my BK. I am happy where I am and am not certain I will apply for the job. But, the BK will play no part in my decision.
                  LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                  Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                  $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, all I can say LITR is that BK13 plays a significant role in pretty much EVERY decision I make.

                    It has literally affected everything about mine and my family's lives. EVERYTHING.

                    As the OP stated, yes there is more money coming in, but now that they've given the TT a 2nd bite of the apple so to speak, their situation has been thrown into a chaotic state....or a very stressful one at the least. So I guess I don't see why making more money is a good thing in this situation if its all going to be taken away and increase your problems. The only way I WOULD think it was a good thing would be if the forced increase of a monthly payment suddenly jumped to 100% payback to un-secureds in the Plan and you got to keep a portion of the extra income. Then I could understand it.

                    But I also notice in the OP's post that it looks like its HER atty, through the paralegal, that is saying her payment would go up, and not the TT. So I wonder if the atty. has had contact with the TT and that is how the new proposed payment was arrived at, or if its an error somewhere in the schedules, or if its just inadequate, if not incompetent, representation, which based on the time it took the atty to get back to her, sounds like its at least a part of the big picture.
                    Filed CH 7 Sept. 2011 - UST Motion to Dismiss (presumption of abuse) Dec. 2011 - Converted to CH 13 Feb. 2012 - Plan Confirmation May 2012 - Expected Discharge June 2017

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by alorth View Post
                      So I guess I don't see why making more money is a good thing in this situation if its all going to be taken away and increase your problems.
                      Why would that increase your problems? You get an increase in income which makes your DMI increase. So, your payment to the trustee goes up in the same amount as your DMI. That should put you in the same place, except that after your plan is done, your income is higher than it would have been if you didn't take the job with increased income. Yes, the process can be a little stressful, especially if, like the OP, you don't understand the numbers that your attorney is giving you. But, you need to look at the big picture. An increase in income is good for your future, even if you don't see the benefit in the short term. Short term thinking is no way to manage your financial life, or any part of your life for that matter.
                      LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                      Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                      $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've had a couple of good friends not see any benefit from long-term thinking at the expense of short-term, very recently.

                        People in their 40's and younger. Gone.

                        All we have is the moment we're in. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed. That's part of why 13 is such a B***h.....excuse my french.

                        Why would it increase problems?

                        Oh...I don't know.....increased expenses, child care, more demands on your time, more wear on a vehicle, and having to go through a modification which opens you up to more scrutiny. Without a reward....and I mean an immediate reward....the costs outweigh the benefits in my opinion.

                        I would also say that credit card usage - something that has gotten many of us into the financial trouble that led us here - is long term thinking at the expense of short term thinking in that you are planning on paying into the future....an uncertain future. Yes, you get some immediate gratification from buying something now, which can be viewed as a sort term perspective, but you are planning on paying "long term". So in my view, short term thinking can be a decent way to manage your financial life in that you need to be solid NOW if you're going to have a hope for a good future, and you should have the money NOW to buy the things you want, not borrow the money and put yourself into a long term hole. Ideally, I guess a combination of the two perspectives is probably best, since you should try to put a little away if you can, but that's a difficult task in a 13.
                        Filed CH 7 Sept. 2011 - UST Motion to Dismiss (presumption of abuse) Dec. 2011 - Converted to CH 13 Feb. 2012 - Plan Confirmation May 2012 - Expected Discharge June 2017

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you have an increase in income, if I were you, I would shut my mouth up, and put some mechanism in place to put those 'extra funds' each month, and create an EMERGENCY SAVINGS FUND. This fund needs to be NOT accessible to you, except in the
                          DIREST of emergencies.

                          By EMERGENCY, I mean something like the transmission has fallen off the car, or you have had a hot water tank blow out. This not to be used for "I ran a few dollars short at the food store...". Budget for those things.

                          And yes, LITR is correct. Plan for the Long Term, not the short term. Short term planning will get you nowhere, except for picking up aluminum cans on the side of the road, and taking them to the scrappers. I am there and am doing this RIGHT NOW! We can't make our ends meet each month without this. 'Hub gets a meager SS, and I have a small PT job, and that is it, Folks.
                          Last edited by AngelinaCat; 08-04-2013, 09:46 PM. Reason: Added the last sentance and emphasis.
                          "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

                          "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by alorth View Post
                            Well, all I can say LITR is that BK13 plays a significant role in pretty much EVERY decision I make.

                            It has literally affected everything about mine and my family's lives. EVERYTHING.
                            Shouldn't it? I'm in a 13 as well, and it's very clear to me that this means I'm paying less than I owe to a number of creditors, and/or modifying the terms that I agreed to with each creditor. Chapter 13 SHOULD be life changing, it should force discipline, and it should result in learning the ability to keep one's financial house in order. If it didn't suck, it wouldn't be a last resort.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I agree it should be life changing but it is not ir shouldnt be a punishment. It is debt relief and as such should be a relief! I an so sorry it is so hard for you. I agree its hard but doable, so far, if nothing changes for us. I hope every day that we get lucky and make it thru! Luck and dicipline! Good luck!
                              Discharge date: October 2017 (will it ever get here?)

                              Comment

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