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Can it really (REALLY) be this easy?!

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  • Can it really (REALLY) be this easy?!

    So we met with a brand-new attorney today. This would be #5 we have consulted with over the past 10 months or so.

    She seemed concerned about nothing in our situation. She was confident, without being arrogant.

    She says we need to do the counseling, and gave us a specific website to go to for that. It's $10.

    She says we get the documents together she needs (honestly, y'all know me, I had most of them with me in my backpack today! ) and we meet with her again when we are ready to file.

    Wait....... WHAT? hahaha.

    I know this will surprise you -- she (nicely) told me "you're stressing too much about the budget" and she is going to change my numbers anyway, to fit the standards and also so we aren't showing such a negative DMI. I laughed along with her and said, "What, you don't need to know about the $0.17 on the end right there? Are you sure?!"

    The only big question that has been hanging in my mind since we left is: When do we fill out a form with all of the items in our home? Is that optional? I mean, she asked on the paper when we first got there about BIG things, some things -- oddly, wanted to know how many DVD's we had @ $2.00 each -- but beyond that, it was four wheelers, trailer, wedding rings, firearms. And that's about IT. There weren't any questions about computers, cell phones, furniture, etc........ So when do we have to make a real, valued list? Is that only when you file pro se?

    She says we can come back with our documents, pay in full, and have it filed ~ all in one meeting.

    Why was I picturing a mountain of paperwork we had to fill out? Have I been hanging out with pro se folks for too long?

    I feel, just, a huge sense of relief. Like -- a weight has literally been lifted from my shoulders.

  • #2
    Another thing I just remembered that I found interesting in this meeting. She said when an annual bonus is in that six-month calculation, they subtract half of it. Because it is being doubled to reflect your yearly income. Has anyone else heard of this before? My husbands bonuses were not very large, but he did have one in January and one in February. These were annual bonuses, not quarterly. She said it would be different if they were quarterly. So anyway, if she does that, it will bring our income down even further for the means test. Not that there was a huge concern about that at this point anyway. But I had never heard that before, not here or from any of the other attorneys.

    Comment


    • #3
      See, it's not that bad.

      As for personal property, that gets all lumped together in categories like miscellaneous furnishings, firearms and photography (don't ask me why they are grouped this way), clothing, etc. No one is going to go through every item and the forms really don't support this. Take a look at Schedule B to see the "types" of categories.

      As for using the standards, that is what you do. If you have a really bad DMI that could draw more attention as it suggests that you are going over in some of the standards -- and you don't want that unless it is both necessary and "easily" defensible.

      Paperwork? Other than the questionnaire and some verbal questions, the information is put into the system (usually BestCase or Bankrupter) and that system spits out the 50-80 pages of the petition. You're paying the attorney for all the paperwork and the headache creating all the paperwork.

      I'm glad you found an attorney that makes you comfortable.

      Originally posted by Chrysalis View Post
      Another thing I just remembered that I found interesting in this meeting. She said when an annual bonus is in that six-month calculation, they subtract half of it. Because it is being doubled to reflect your yearly income. Has anyone else heard of this before?
      Different Districts deal with "one-time" or special income differently. This may be the practice in your area, but it's not a hard-and-fast global rule across bankruptcy District courts. For example, some Districts require that you average the annual tax refunds (if there are any) and add 1/12th of that average to the CMI. Others don't care, but the office of the United States Trustee (UST) will actually perform what they call a "B22" analysis which sill factor that average refund back into the CMI calculations.
      Last edited by justbroke; 06-22-2017, 08:44 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


      • #4
        Yay!!!! 5th time lucky - I'm glad you found the right attorney and you're ready to move forward!
        Filed Chapter 13 - 07/20/12
        Discharged 8/2/16

        Comment


        • #5
          I guess I am talking about where we have to specifically list the $20,500 worth of property we want to be exempt. Is that schedule B? Thanks, I will check it out later when I am on the computer.

          And I wonder what they would do about figuring 1/12 of a tax refund when there has been a substantial change in income & circumstances from previous years. We won't be getting what we've gotten in the past. Definitely not close to what we got this year with the tuition credits -- I won't be claiming those on this year's tax return.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Chrysalis View Post
            I guess I am talking about where we have to specifically list the $20,500 worth of property we want to be exempt. Is that schedule B? Thanks, I will check it out later when I am on the computer.

            And I wonder what they would do about figuring 1/12 of a tax refund when there has been a substantial change in income & circumstances from previous years. We won't be getting what we've gotten in the past. Definitely not close to what we got this year with the tuition credits -- I won't be claiming those on this year's tax return.
            Property is scheduled on Schedules A (106A Real Property) and Schedule B (106B Personal Property). Property is then exempted on Schedule C (106C). The official forms are here.

            If you are over the median (according to the CMI calculation), then the UST will likely run their "B22" analysis and play with some numbers. If you just received a large refund, it will be difficult to explain any future refund being smaller, but let your attorney worry about that.


            http://www.uscourts.gov/forms/bankruptcy-forms

            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
              Originally posted by sophieanne View Post
              Yay!!!! 5th time lucky - I'm glad you found the right attorney and you're ready to move forward!
              Thanks sophieanne!

              I know part of it is that our numbers finally line up and we're "ready" ~ and I really wanted this to be the final one so we can move on ~ but she also seemed very confident and knowledgeable about pretty much everything we discussed. Seeing her so laid-back about it made ME feel more laid-back about it......... if there is such a thing as feeling laid-back about bankruptcy. Lol.

              Comment


              • #8
                jb ~ thanks for the forms. I see. That is helpful for us to know what information to have with us, for sure. I'm still surprised that there wasn't a more detailed form given to us..... But I'm not complaining. Having to assign a value to your 14-year-old bed, microwave, stove, and refrigerator before you even MEET someone was getting a little annoying.

                As far as it being difficult to explain the smaller tax refund -- well, his employer has always over-withheld, and we don't know why it always works out that way. Even with exemptions set at TEN for part of the year... we have still gotten a big refund. I'm pretty sure we've now had it set at 10 for this entire year. Plus he's probably going to make about $16,000-20,000 less than last year -- somewhere in that area. Combine all of that with the fact that I am not going to use the tuition credits for this year -- I think I can use it one more time, and that will be for 2018 when we will have 3 semesters of tuition to claim vs. this year, where there would only be one (fall). Spring has already been used & summer was paid for by the school because I earned a free class.

                But yes, as you said -- I will definitely let our attorney worry about that. I'm not losing any sleep over it. ;)

                leonel9 -- if you're out there -- I talked to her about how the other local attorney said we'd "offer" half of the tax refund and any annual bonus that could possibly be received in February. She agreed with you (and us) and sort of laughed and said, "we don't OFFER anything..." She did say that you do that in a Chapter 13. But we were not seriously discussing a Chapter 13 at any point -- he mentioned it several times but also agreed that it made no sense in our situation -- so that really doesn't explain his reasoning on this, either.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chrysalis View Post

                  leonel9 -- if you're out there -- I talked to her about how the other local attorney said we'd "offer" half of the tax refund and any annual bonus that could possibly be received in February. She agreed with you (and us) and sort of laughed and said, "we don't OFFER anything..." She did say that you do that in a Chapter 13. But we were not seriously discussing a Chapter 13 at any point -- he mentioned it several times but also agreed that it made no sense in our situation -- so that really doesn't explain his reasoning on this, either.
                  Great news! I thought perhaps there was something significant I was missing.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It was a pile of paperwork to sign takes about 20 minutes, but that is what the attorney does for you and they know the forms like the back of there hand that they can tell you everything about what is on them you just provide your pay stubs and bank statements and they pretty much do the rest. I will see if it was that east on July 24th on my 341 meeting after that it is smooth sailing. Good luck to you. Sounds like you are uber prepared and will go through this without a hitch.
                    Chapter 7 Filed 10/17/07
                    341 mtg. 11/15/07
                    Discharged 2/19/08
                    Closed on 2/26/08

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, we just left the attorney's office and she says she'll have our case filed tomorrow. I would like to say I feel better, but honestly it was so rushed ~ my head is sort of spinning. She'd already prepared a "rough draft" and that is what we brought home with us. But we won't get a final copy until it is already done and filed.

                      Yes, all of this stress... worrying about every little detail and trying to do everything "right" and nothing "wrong"... In the end, she's going to put whatever numbers on there that make sense and won't raise red flags. I guess that's good, it's just SO weird to just hand it all over to someone else and hope that it all goes well. We're signing papers, signing papers, and the whole time I'm thinking, this is it? This is it. I was sitting down this morning, making a list of household items and putting values on exempted property... well, she's just using what we put on our initial consultation paperwork. "No one is going to come and take an inventory of your home"... well, I hope not. We'd still be under the exemption amount because we hardly own anything that's worth anything... so is that all that matters? No one is going to quibble about whether my wedding rings are worth $1000 or $1500, because we have $20,500 in exemptions and ALL of our crap is probably not worth that?

                      One thing that has me pretty bummed out is that it looks like our 341 meeting will probably be the first week of my nursing school -- maybe even the very first day. This is a pretty big thing I wanted to avoid. I will be hoping and praying with everything I've got that it somehow works out the week before. I absolutely, positively did not want to have to miss school for this. I am so committed to this program, and I also don't want to have to explain this to my brand-new teachers I've never even met before. But -- deep breath -- it is what it is. I know it will all be okay, one way or another.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Congradulations Chrysalis - you've taken the critical first step. I know it's hard but relax now, you're in good hands.
                        Filed Chapter 13 - 07/20/12
                        Discharged 8/2/16

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Great great great!!! Congratulations I am happy for you

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks, guys. I am trying hard to study for an exam tomorrow morning, but I still keep going over some things in my mind.

                            The whole process with this attorney just went very quickly, and I feel weird about signing when we hadn't even seen the final draft she is going to submit. I'm torn between wanting to be a stickler for details, and also knowing that I've been told I'm overthinking.

                            She seems SO calm and confident about everything ~ and while I want to find that reassuring, it almost feels a little too laid back. I guess only time will tell if I made the right choice here or not. After all of this time I've spent on this process, I sure hope so. If things go badly, it will just be one more financial "epic fail" to add to the list.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Good Luck! And congratulations for filing! I said the same thing to my attorney just yesterday at our 341 meeting. I am doing a Chapter 13, but even the budget he worked up...yes, he worked up the budget provides a bit more than what I was struggling to live on and pay my debts. In many, many ways I am happy to not be going hungry a few nights, happy to have a small clothing allotment...if you saw the threadbare stuff I have been wearing, to be able to not worry if I'll have enough gas in the car!

                              And to have my phone stop ringing off the hook with collectors from banks, cc, and medical bills!!!! I think a lot of people put themselves through unnecessary stress due to the cultural stigma over filing bankruptcy. Stuff happens, life happens, and sometimes Murphy works overtime in people's lives for some unknown reason. I told my attorney yesterday....I had a friend tell me to go the the hospital and check myself in as having a panic attack and breakdown. At the time she said it I just looked at her and said..."what and create more bills I can't pay!"

                              Instead I started like most and spoke to debt management people etc. and finally spoke to an attorney. Even after getting the money together to file, having him explain to only pay priority debts, what to tell the collectors, and giving him all my financials .... a few weeks later I signed my papers. Life started over....and I think, no I know, I am going to be just fine.

                              Comment

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