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Is Replacement of Broken Cast Iron sewer Pipes a Neccesary Expense During Chapter13?

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    Is Replacement of Broken Cast Iron sewer Pipes a Neccesary Expense During Chapter13?

    I just posted some of this info (along with other news) in another new thread, but think I need to ask more specific questions about how serious this is.
    Can we "get by" until March 2022 (the first month we will not be required to pay the trustee $1000+) by just cleaning the sewer line every six month, using the hottest water we can stand in the kitchen sink, avoiding using the disposal, washing as many clothes as possible only in hot water washing smaller loads more often, wiping the dishes and silverware off with napkins instead of rinsing oil and food particles under the faucet before washing them in the dishwasher, etc. (This was the advice of the supervisor who was going to scope our sewer line today. He told us to instead save our money on scoping since he knew what would need to be done to prevent future basement flooding.) Both the Sat. cleaning fee and trip fee were waived - a $265 charge!
    What advise or answers can those give us who have been through this during BK13? Our current house was built in 1975, if that helps.
    We want to sell in 2022 and hopefully avoid another redux of this current BK13 by getting out from under the many costly home maintenance bills sure to come our way after March 2022!
    Any pertinent comments or advise will be appreciated - thank you!

    #2
    Well, more upsetting tidings !
    This Saturday we "tried" unsuccessfully to have our sewer line cleaned, but instead had to wait until today to learn the extent of the damage (a $4500 estimate). Apparently the cast iron pipes underneath the basement laundry/furnace/water heater room need to be replaced as soon as possible. Also, this 1975 house has the washing machine and the kitchen sink /garbage disposable connected to one pipe which is contributing to the backup. No major sewage yet, but that could happen any time and flood the entire basement.
    Has something like this ever happened to any one this forum who has a house built before 1980? Is $4500 too much - how much should this cost ? (Colorado is one of the most expensive states for home repairs, so that might have a bearing on that quote.)
    (The lawyer said the trustee would never allow such an amount.) The supervisor did say our insurance should shoulder a percentage of the cost, but we have not been able to verify that yet!)
    Also, one of the trustee's many lawyers informed us the increase will be $462 per month, starting with the October payment, and eliminating the Jan. $75 step up payment for the paid-off car.
    Bad news indeed!

    Comment


      #3
      [I combined these threads.]

      I need to repair my sewer line about 6 months into my Chapter 13 (if I recall correctly). They had to tear up about 4 feet of concrete driveway (squared). It was around the time of income tax refund so I asked to use the money for that, and it was granted. I had to pay additional money that I had saved.

      A busted septic tank or sewer line is necessary for health and safety. No Trustee should question your quotes and your final bill.

      As for the home falling apart, I learned that this process starts right around 10 years... when most of the warranties are done! At least 15-20 you have any more systems failing. At 30-40 years you'll have the roof, major plumbing issues and a host of other things like rotting vents in the attic causing major leaks during storms. They just don't make them the way they used to make them!

      This is why I left my home. The repairs became ridiculous and the $21K for 3 new A/C units put the nail in the coffin.

      You will need to get 2-3 quotes and seek permission to abate or permanently change your payments over some period of time to get the repairs done. The Trustee may also ask that you seek credit (and they would allow that). It just depends on the situation. A failing home is difficult during a Chapter 13. I purposefully bought a $850/year warranty to protect my home during that time.

      I can tell you that $4,500 would have killed me if the Trustee were unwilling to budge. I spent probably $10K with Trustee permission over my Chapter 13. That barely kept my home afloat. Squirrels in the attic, sewer line, major water main leak (covered by warranty!), A/C repairs (partially covered by warranty), landscaping (sod is expensive to have removed and installed), re-landscaping due to red blight... and the list continues ad naseum.
      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
        Well, jb according to the attorney we are only allowed the monthly maintenance amount and nothing else ever! (until Mar.2022 ,unless the trustee can find a way to extend our BK13 beyond 60 payments!)
        This would involve the basement only as the main sewer line seems fine (i.e. the toilets, bath and tub and the bathroom faucets). So a jackhammer would tear up about 10 feet in the utility room and the cast iron pipes would be replaced I believe, by two modern plastic pipes to separate the sink from the downstairs washer.
        Right now with this increase and all the car repairs ,etc. we have no real savings so we are forced to try to wait at least six months or more .
        It doesn't sound like this trustee will ever budge unless the basement is flooded -he is very unreasonable once he is fixated on a final payment amount (until he wants more). Since he just raised the payment by $460 and the attorney is disinterested (we are not able to pay the attorney and he is billing the creditors to file this objection), I doubt he will offer much help with a modification or filing a motion to obtain credit. He just wants to be done with this case!
        I hope you can understand why I want to sell out (when we are allowed). We only need to clear enough money to relocate out of here , not to buy another house anywhere!
        Last edited by Barbisi; 09-14-2020, 08:57 PM.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Barbisi View Post
          Well, jb according to the attorney we are only allowed the monthly maintenance amount and nothing else ever! (until Mar.2022 ,unless the trustee can find a way to extend our BK13 beyond 60 payments!)
          Yes, as far as Schedule I/J or the Means Test, you are only allowed what is on the schedules, and what is reasonable and normal.

          Emergencies are an exception and are why they are called emergencies.

          Every Chapter 13 Trustee that I have seen in court, have had as a Chapter 13 Trustee, or that I read, hardly gave people any issues with... major issues. It's probably because good Chapter 13 Trustees know that if your plan fails, they have also failed. (Failed where they did not help the debtor to succeed... which is one of their purposes in 11 USC 704, as referenced in 11 USC 1302.) There are usually multiple ways an attorney can craft a plan modification to deal with an emergency.

          Despite what an attorney may say, I would always tell them what is happening and document (show them) the cost to repair. I would make sure it's in a writing and I would make sure that they understood that it was health and safety related. I would make sure that, if your attorney is a stickler, that you have two different opinions and quotes (not just a quote, but a detailed assessment of risk). If your attorney pushes back on health and safety related issues -- which are clear and present dangers (not just speculative) -- then the issue may be your attorney. Maybe it's about fees.

          Originally posted by Barbisi View Post
          It doesn't sound like this trustee will ever budge unless the basement is flooded -he is very unreasonable once he is fixated on a final payment amount (until he wants more). Since he just raised the payment by $460 and the attorney is disinterested (we are not able to pay the attorney and he is billing the creditors to file this objection), I doubt he will offer much help with a modification or filing a motion to obtain credit. He just wants to be done with this case!
          Reads to me like it may be your attorney as much as it could be the Trustee.

          Originally posted by Barbisi View Post
          I hope you can understand why I want to sell out (when we are allowed). We only need to clear enough money to relocate out of here , not to buy another house anywhere!
          I 100% understand your desire. I came to realization that saving my investment property (in another State) was useless and that trying to maintain a rather expensive home was likewise futile (although it did appreciate). I am very close to buying a condo/townhouse where they maintain everything external and some other common areas. Home ownership can be a drag if the cost of that particular ownership is extreme. It's frustrating that everytime you think everything is fixed and working well, something (major) breaks.



          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


            #6
            You are right about the attorney jb!
            I have long suspected that because we weren't able to properly plan for this BK13, and this attorney is in the Hyatt Legal Plan which pays a flat $1500 fee. He told us recently he charges $300 per hour and he seemed bemused that the creditors will be footing his bill!
            At this point we don't know if this is going to turn into an emergency or not.
            I am beginning to feel like quitting - only fix it if we have to before 2022 because we can't afford a move. We almost don't even have an attorney.We'll keep paying this god-awful mortgage until Feb.2022 or later until my husband can find an out of state job with some kind of relocation package. That way the trustee can't dictate how and where we can go.
            We are and always have been rooked in this BK13 and we don't stand a chance of selling the house because of $$$$$ to repair endless failings.
            Colorado is our downfall.
            Last edited by Barbisi; 09-14-2020, 11:45 PM.

            Comment


              #7
              Besides the pre-petition upfront fee payment to the ch13 lawyer, the unsecured creditors pay the bulk of your remaining fees with some exceptions like lien avoidance work. Because of that, there is no almost need to go cheap on the ch13 lawyer or go pro se. It is very normal for ch13 lawyers to bill the unsecured creditors.

              Comment

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