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2 attys., 2 different answers

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  • 2 attys., 2 different answers

    So now I'm totally confused on the right thing to do. My husband and I saw an atty last week. He said you're a chapter 7. No assets that he can't exempt and we definitely qualify as far as income. This sounded great but we had already scheduled a second appt with a different atty that was recommended to us. We went to that appt today and he said we should do a chapter 13.
    We got a B of A debt consolidation loan in september of 2008 for 32K. We absolutely were not thinking bankruptcy at the time that we got the loan. We are self-employed and we had been given the go ahead on a HUGE job that would have helped change our financial situation. We thought we could consolidate the cc's and that would help. Unfortunately the job fell through because the owner decided not to build after all. We paid 2 of our cc's with the loan and ended up using the rest for living on. Now we're facing bankruptcy as our only choice and this atty thinks that B of A will object unless we do a chapter 13.
    I don't want to do a ch. 7 and have them object but he's talking about us having to pay $450 a month for the next 5 years and we're not even making enough to cover mortgage, utilities and groceries.
    Which attorney is right?
    Has anyone else had an experience like this?
    Sorry this is so long. Thanks to anyone that managed to read this far.
    Oh, I forgot to say that until this month we have always made our payment to B of A on time.
    Last edited by nodough; 05-08-2009, 09:53 PM.

  • #2
    Ha! Yes, I had two consultations with different attorneys last week and I ended up with two totally different answers too! Although I am over the median by almost $20k, one attorney told me that I would qualify for a ch 7 (I know I would based the knowledge I gained from spending countless hours on this forum and based on my expenses ), and the other attorney told me flat out...ch 13 with a payment of $350/month for 5 years! The 2nd attorney didn't even look at my expenses (my husband commutes 135 miles/day, so our gas bill is pretty large and I knew I would be able to claim this on my expenses!), she went off the IRS standards and didn't even allow extras like food/supplies/vet bills for my 6 animals and said NO ENTERTAINMENT expense for 5 years (I had down $50 month)...I guess I'm suppose to sit and watch the grass grow for the next 5 years!
    So, I would recommend that you consult a few more attorneys and go with the one you feel most comfortable with. This one you have sounds like s/he isn't much of a fighter...
    Good Luck!
    May 2008 Hired 1st Attorney/Stopped paying CCs
    May 21, 2009 Retained 2nd Attorney
    May 28th - Filed for Ch 7 (FINALLY!)
    9/11/09 - DISCHARGED!!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      The second atty. told us that he could just say that our business was doing better and that way we could afford the chapter 13. Even though I don't see how we could. He's actually an esteemed lawyer around here. He teaches other bk lawyers about the laws that changed in 2005. So he's supposed to be good but I want him to be wrong! I liked the idea of the ch 7 much better but I am afraid of B of A objecting.
      You're going with the first atty, right?

      Comment


      • #4
        No, although I really liked the 1st attorney, I felt that the firm was a BK-Mill-type place and that would probably be the last time I saw her...I've read enough here to know to stay away from BK Mills. You get what you pay for...
        As for the 2nd attorney, she was suppose to have worked for "the Trustee" and KNOWS all about BK...okay, maybe she does, but I don't think she's made the transition yet from working with the Trustee to her clients....
        Can you wait off on filing? You don't have any garnishments and/or judgements yet, do you? I stopped paying my cc's exactly 1 year ago and the advice of my previous attorney (long story, but now I have to find a new attorney) and at the time, I was only able to file ch 13 (according to him) because my creditors "might" object to my balance transfers/cash advance (very high amounts). But I've waited it out (while trying to save extra money to pay him in full), now my "situation" has changed and I'm told I could qualify because I've waited soooo long to file. So it all depends, can you wait it out?
        May 2008 Hired 1st Attorney/Stopped paying CCs
        May 21, 2009 Retained 2nd Attorney
        May 28th - Filed for Ch 7 (FINALLY!)
        9/11/09 - DISCHARGED!!!!

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        • #5
          Wow! A whole year. How do you handle the stress?
          I'm sure we could wait awhile. We just stopped paying our cards 2 weeks ago.
          I was actually wondering why this 2nd atty didn't suggest that we just wait then do a chapter 7.
          Stupid question: How do I spot a BK mill?

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          • #6
            There's no stress...yet. When I retained my 1st attoney, I was able to direct all creditor calls to his office. I get a call ever once in awhile when the debt has be transfered to a new collection agency. I would suggest interviewing a few more attorneys, educate yourself in the BK process (this really helps) and have a list of questions to ask (I had a long 'ol list ) each attorney. Know your household numbers, do the means test yourself online (at www.legalconsumer.com) and know where you stand BEFORE you see an attorney.
            A BK mills place has lots of attorneys, sometimes several locations and gives you a price that sounds too good to be true (most of the time). One of my questions was, "Do I contact you directly when I have questions and will you be attending the 341 with me?" The answer was ultimately "no" for both, but she made it sound really good. Apparently, I don't get the "office number", I get a toll free number to the "call center" (location in Ohio) where "anyone" can answer my questions because they are all really good 'bk paralegals' and have access my account via their updated computer technology... That's how I knew it was a BK Mill...
            May 2008 Hired 1st Attorney/Stopped paying CCs
            May 21, 2009 Retained 2nd Attorney
            May 28th - Filed for Ch 7 (FINALLY!)
            9/11/09 - DISCHARGED!!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              My thought when reading the original post was to wait as long as feasibily possible, and then file. You can even retain the attorney now, just plan to wait to file. Perhaps even continue making payments to BofA, even though you are not paying other unsecured debt. This way you can proceed with a chapter 7 with less of a chance of an objection from BofA... Obviously, check with a qualified, competent attorney before you continue paying BofA, and follow the suggestion(s), and clarify exatcly how long you should continue to pay them (if it all).
              Last edited by ShouldWeFile; 05-08-2009, 11:25 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by liz417 View Post
                There's no stress...yet. When I retained my 1st attoney, I was able to direct all creditor calls to his office. I get a call ever once in awhile when the debt has be transfered to a new collection agency. I would suggest interviewing a few more attorneys, educate yourself in the BK process (this really helps) and have a list of questions to ask (I had a long 'ol list ) each attorney. Know your household numbers, do the means test yourself online (at www.legalconsumer.com) and know where you stand BEFORE you see an attorney.
                A BK mills place has lots of attorneys, sometimes several locations and gives you a price that sounds too good to be true (most of the time). One of my questions was, "Do I contact you directly when I have questions and will you be attending the 341 with me?" The answer was ultimately "no" for both, but she made it sound really good. Apparently, I don't get the "office number", I get a toll free number to the "call center" (location in Ohio) where "anyone" can answer my questions because they are all really good 'bk paralegals' and have access my account via their updated computer technology... That's how I knew it was a BK Mill...
                That definitely sounds like a mill. My first atty worked alone and his wife usually answers the phone so I think he's OK. I do need to make sure he will be attending the 341. I naively assumed that he would. I'll have to call on Monday. Thanks for all the advice and good luck to you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ShouldWeFile View Post
                  My thought when reading the original post was to wait as long as feasibily possible, and then file. You can even retain the attorney now, just plan to wait to file. Perhaps even continue making payments to BofA, even though you are not paying other unsecured debt. This way you can proceed with a chapter 7 with less of a chance of an objection from BofA... Obviously, check with a qualified, competent attorney before you continue paying BofA, and follow the suggestion(s), and clarify exatcly how long you should continue to pay them (if it all).
                  I was going to try to keep making payments to them but at $585 a month I just can't do it. I will talk to that first atty again though and see how long we could wait to hopefully avoid an objection. I just don't see a chapter 13 being right for us.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you just stopped paying all of your bills a couple of weeks ago, I would speculate that you have at least 6 months before you get served your first summons for an unpaid debt... That would put you over a year since borrowing the monies. If you cannot afford to continue paying BofA, then so be it...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just wanted to add to the OP that we received two different opinions on our debt picture from two different firms as well. The first attorney said 13 but possibly a 7, she would have to take a look at our numbers. The second attorney said definitely a 13 (because I makes so much money at a "big time" law firm) and we'd be paying 100% back plus including our two vehicles.

                      We went with the first attorney. She is a fighter, she worked with our numbers and told us we definitely would NOT include the 2 cars even if we were filing a 13. She is an experienced bk attorney who happens to be married to a chapter 7 trustee. We feel very confident in their small firm's personal approach. We have met with her several times and she never rushes us and always answers all our questions. She says she wants us to be totally comfortable with the process. So definitely interview attorneys until you feel comfortable. To me, this is a stressful enough process not to feel your attorney is on your side!
                      Filed: 8-19-09
                      341: 9-21-09
                      Notice of Discharge: 11-28-09

                      Comment

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