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Just starting the process - advice?

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  • Just starting the process - advice?


    my wife and I have about 80k in credit card -$1700 a month in minimum payments.

    the lawyer I met with said he can get this down to $500 to the bankruptcy trustee for five years, plus his 3500 lawyer fees.

    what are the hidden costs? One of my friends said I’d end up spending 20k in lawyer fees over five years and I’m nervous.

    if they’re telling me they can cut my payment so much, why do I see so many people here talking about it takes all of your disposable income? I’m very confused
    Last edited by Pillowpants; 01-24-2018, 04:44 AM.

  • #2
    I don't know what your friend is talking about. Bankruptcy has finality (period). Once your plan is confirmed and you are in a Chapter 13, there are no additional costs. I think that your friend plucked $20K (for lawyer fees) from the sky because that is simply not true. Unless your have a complex case, which your cases sounds rather simple, you pay that simple "no-look" fee of $3,500 and then you pay in your disposable monthly income plus your secured payments over that period (3-5 years depending on your income).

    It's better for you to sit down and have your attorney explain this. I would, though, get at least 3 other free consultations and don't be afraid to ask exactly how the numbers work. I don't know how much detail you received from this first consultation regarding your income or if the $500 was just an estimate of your disposable monthly income (DMI).

    I would stop listening to my "friend" on this topic. Most people are don't understand how bankruptcy works.
    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.


    • #3
      See, that is where I am confused.

      I'm just breaking even now - but there's a kid on the way, so I will be -$1000 by next year. He said the payments would be a set amount, but I also have to contribute all of my extra disposable income over that amount?

      Also, my friend runs a mortgage company and helps people with bankruptcy so he sort of knows things.


      • #4
        There is a mechanism in Chapter 13s to modify a confirmed plan. Whenever you have any issues with a loss of income, a new family member, or any other financial event, you contact your attorney so that they can rework the numbers. If the payment needs to be adjusted, and it's feasible, your attorney files a motion for modification of the confirmed plan.

        (I don't think your friend knows anything about the actual law and how bankruptcy works. No one pays $20K in attorney fees in bankruptcy unless they are a major corporation in a Chapter 11 Reorganization. I would only speak with a bankruptcy attorney.)
        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.


        • #5
          Ignore your friend. Talk to a bankruptcy attorney, or three.


          • #6
            I recently entered Ch 13 - and the biggest advice I could give you is to meet with multiple attorneys. They seem to promise the sky, but I've found the ones who don't push "how much they can get you down to $" tend to be vastly better. One thing I learned from starting my Ch 13 is there is a difference between what I think my disposable income is, versus what the actual end number was. Ch 13 is all about budgeting - sometimes it will be difficult. When I first started the process we came up with a plan payment of $350. The Trustee objected, and we settled on a $700 payment.

            As for hidden costs - the only other costs that exist outside of your original attorney fees and court filing fees are the costs for the two financial courses you must take at the start and end of the case. After that, the only extra legal fees you will come across after your plan is confirmed by the court would generally be from a plan modification, or if you need to convert to a Ch 7, or other legal pleading relating to your Ch 13 case after you received confirmation.


            • #7
              If you have additional fees for the reasons listed by JafJaf, they will likely be included in your plan payment.

              Your friend may know how to get people in Chap 13 approved for a mortgage, but that doesn't mean he knows anything about the details of filing a Chap 13. $20K in attorneys fees for a typical Chap 13 is unheard of!
              LadyInTheRed is in the black!
              Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
              $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!


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