Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

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Percentage of Payment Amount

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  • Percentage of Payment Amount

    This something that is beginning to eat away at me and I would like an answer - if payback percentage is inconsequential, why does the lawyer always remind us we are only paying back between 20-30 % of our unsecured debt About $35000 of $109000 ?(We filed with $134000 but 4 creditors I believe did not provide proof of claim prior to confirmation.) The lawyer says the Trustee is "concerned" about our deductions and our low repayment amount. Is this normal? We were confirmed in August and since then we have been hit with $$$ in medical bills and recently had a cancer scare which prompted us to see if we could skip one payment to pay the surgery fees which would have been payable at the time of the procedure! It sounded like because we can't pay $1000 a month (which the trustee originally demanded) instead of the $560 he eventually settlted on, the trustee is watching our case closely and looking for an opportunity to raise our minimal payment. Is this % just a hangup of the lawyers' or do trustees really care about percentages?

  • #2
    Yes, percent payback means nothing to worry about as you only should worry about your disposable monthly income (DMI). What your lawyer did was to make you more secure about paying $0.30 to $0.40 on the dollar to discharge a bunch of debt. Most people would love to discharge $1,000,000 of debt for just $300,000. That's the prize for being in a Chapter 13. You get to force a payment plan on creditors and don't pay interest. The compound interest on $1,000,000 over 5+ years could be $300,000 alone (at 20% APR)!

    The Trustee's job is to use standards to determine whether you are contributing the right amount towards the unsecured debt. These are the IRS Financial Collection Standards (FCS). Did you know that the IRS is more strict that your Trustee when it comes to these Standards? In the end, you can chose to not "pay to play" and allow creditors to obtain judgments and to come after non-exempt property, pledged property, garnish wages, and levy against bank accounts. Hence the "pay to play" to get the protections to make "some" effort to repay creditors.

    As we wrote about before, you have some expenses that are not standard and the Trustee didn't see them as necessary. Through your attorney you negotiated a DMI figure that you would pay.

    Trust me the Trustee is not "waiting" to increase your payment. The Trustee is trying to maintain cases and process all the new cases. However, when you motion to modify a confirmed plan, you are opening a can of worms. I suggested a motion to abate plan payments in order to pay involuntary medical debt (maybe abate 2 of them), and then you have to re-amortize the payments to include the missed payments. This is usually a no-hassle request to the judge. Missing a payment, however, is a non-starter. You never want to intentionally miss a plan payment as it would still be due in full (no re-amortization).
    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.


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