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Pro Se Chpt 7 & Unemployed

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  • Pro Se Chpt 7 & Unemployed

    I'm grateful for everyone who has contributed here because I am considering Chpt 7 without a lawyer, I will be attending a seminar at the court here in L.A. which will help with most of my questions...but I'd like to hear feedback from anyone who had this similar situation....

    filing BK 7 due to loss of job a year ago, renter, single, 1 kid age 18, only income is from unemployment benefits(this will end in a few months), all debt is unsecured credit cards, no assets, car is paid for and 7 yrs old....

    My question is..."is it possible for the credit card companies/or the trustee to not allow me to file Chpt 7 because someday I might find a job in the near future? (my age is 49 and I'm actively seeking fulltime employment, so hopefully I will be employed in the near future but not likely at same salary as my last job and won't be able to make any more payments on cc's...
    Any one?
    Thank you

  • #2
    Not possible, a chapter 7 takes your situation as it is at the time your file your case. There is no look forward in the way you are thinking about.
    Last edited by HHM; 05-17-2010, 05:54 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      I was in the same exact situation.

      I lost a well paying job, and I was afraid of the same thing especially since I have a degree in a field that pays very well.

      However, HHM is correct, it was never considered.

      By the way, I also filed Pro Se, big money saver, wasn't hard, but of course I worried the whole way through.
      02-12-2009, Filed Chapter 7, Pro Se
      03-24-2009, 341
      05-28-2009, Discharged!

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you for the replys...
        Do I have to be several months past due before filing?
        I've used savings so far to cover minimums, but would like to
        file asap, because savings are now gone.

        Comment


        • #5
          I wish; I had filed sooner.

          I wasted about $10,000 in savings paying on my credit cards while hoping that I would find employment. I wish I had saved it all. My state has lots of exemptions via the federal exemptions.

          If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't have paid them another dime, and I would have filed sooner.

          I think my credit score was a lot higher than most other people's after my bankruptcy because I filed before I was really really behind. Only one or two payments behind on most cards.

          I was getting credit card offers almost right after my bankruptcy. Although I live on a cash basis only now, I get at least 1-2 credit card offers per week and I've only been working very sparingly off and on this past year and I'm currently unemployed.

          I crack up when I'm dumping them in the trash.
          02-12-2009, Filed Chapter 7, Pro Se
          03-24-2009, 341
          05-28-2009, Discharged!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SeattleBK View Post

            I was getting credit card offers almost right after my bankruptcy. Although I live on a cash basis only now, I get at least 1-2 credit card offers per week and I've only been working very sparingly off and on this past year and I'm currently unemployed.

            I crack up when I'm dumping them in the trash.
            That is actually really funny because there are so many credit card companies who prey on that. Basically they think they can give a person a really low spending limit and entice them with the idea that it will rebuild their credit. I asked a rep from one of these companies about why they give people credit cards RIGHT after bankruptcy. Their reply was "because they wont be filing bankruptcy anywhere in the near future".

            Absolutely priceless.

            As for the thread question. Everyone hit it right. The only time future income is even discussed in a 7 is on hardship cases with student loans. Got nothing to worry about there.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks SeattleBK, I hated using the savings, but like everyone else who was laid off, I didn't know (or want to face reality) that finding a replacement job would take this long and BK never entered my mind until recently

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by HHM View Post
                Not possible, a chapter 7 takes your situation as it is at the time your file your case. There is no look forward in the way you are thinking about.
                It is possible for the trustee to look forward if the trustee feels that Chapter 7 would be abusive. We were close to the median (but under); however, based on the amount that my husband and I earned in 2008 and 2009 prior to being laid off, the trustee is considering dismissing our case so that we have to convert to a Chapter 13.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by puddy73 View Post
                  It is possible for the trustee to look forward if the trustee feels that Chapter 7 would be abusive. We were close to the median (but under); however, based on the amount that my husband and I earned in 2008 and 2009 prior to being laid off, the trustee is considering dismissing our case so that we have to convert to a Chapter 13.
                  That appears to be an entirely different scenario than the one in question. Being dismissed for abuse is a very different issue then the one faced by the OP. You haven't fully explained your situation but if you are really facing an abuse dismissal, there is far more going on than being unemployed for a year.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We filed pro se in March after a job loss last year that lasted until February. Trustee never even batted an eye and the BK court was always helpful and polite and never made us feel bad or lowly if that makes sense.

                    Filing pro se is the way to go if you have no assets and are honest in your filings. I bought the electronic version of the Nolo How to File BK which helped tremendously

                    Nolo Book


                    1. This site is the bomb and though I don't post alot I read it religiously every night
                    2. I landed a job just before we filed but not soon enough to not file so you should be fine and not worry about future earnings. Trustee did not even question it.
                    3. If you have questions ask, people are more than happy to help as is the clerk in the BK court.
                    4. Do not miss the deadlines, (very important!)
                    5. Don't sweat the 341, if you are honest then the worst part is the waiting I promise.
                    6. If you can follow instructions then you can file pro se. We saw the attorney we thought about hiring at our 341 meeting and being a small town we lived in people get to know one another. He chatted with me a bit and told me since I filed pro se I could expect a lot of questions and request for items from the trustee. As our names were called the trustee asked maybe 6 questions and declared us a no asset case and asked for nothing!!!! As we walked out the attorney congratulated me on a good job and I thanked myself for saving us $1600 that would have taken food from my families mouth :-)

                    Probably rambling but I really like to let people know that it ain't all that bad if your upfront and honest with the court. Try to fool them and you will be drilled, they are good.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HHM View Post
                      That appears to be an entirely different scenario than the one in question. Being dismissed for abuse is a very different issue then the one faced by the OP. You haven't fully explained your situation but if you are really facing an abuse dismissal, there is far more going on than being unemployed for a year.
                      I don't want to hijack the post, but the email that our attorney received from the trustee specifically stated that because we have a history of higher earnings and because my husband now has a job that will push us over the median when combined with my unemployment compensation, it may be an abuse of Chapter 7. So, it is a different situation from the OP, but I just wanted to point out the trustee CAN consider circumstances after the 6 month look back period. I've been told that our district is a particularly tough one to file in.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by puddy73 View Post
                        So, it is a different situation from the OP, but I just wanted to point out the trustee CAN consider circumstances after the 6 month look back period. I've been told that our district is a particularly tough one to file in.
                        This is called the Totality of Circumstances of 707(b)(3) motion to dismiss. It is not different than any other District. If you actually have employment before filing, or shortly thereafter, the UST can take that into consideration.

                        In just about every District you'll find that if you're over the median income or over $100K in unsecured debt, the UST will try to find ways to dismiss or get you to convert (to a Chapter 13). That's their job. The Office of the United States Trustee's (OUST) job is to enforce the bankruptcy code and to administer the "public" policy which is to deny Chapter 7 to debtors who are not "needy" or "deserving". Yes, subjective, but that's the policy.
                        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


                        • #13
                          I'm kind of in a similar boat. I had years of 6 figure income and then unemployment. During a meeting with our attorney just prior to filing he mentioned that the UST may get involved because of earnings history. He further said that he didn't think he would get a phone call from the UST but wouldn't be surprised if he did. He went on to say that if he was contacted by the UST he could deal with it. We are over median but passed means test and way under DMI on the schedules, based on present circumstances. We do have over $100,000 in unsecured debt.

                          After close to 6 month's on unemployment I'm in the running for a halfway decent paying job. It is conceivable that I may get a job offer before my 341 in a week. Even though I will not be employed before our 341 I'm still sweating this under "Totality of circumstances."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Good luck gmk. I know what it feels like! (Over the median myself, and over the $100K, but at least I'm a non-consumer.)
                            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

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