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

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Over debt limit

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  • Over debt limit

    Hello! Hoping you can give me some advice. My husband and I filed Chapt 13 in March and once POC came in it put us at $412,000 in unsecured debt- over the 394,000 limit. 95% of this debt is student loans belonging to both me and husband. The trustee has objected due to over limit. Is there anything that can be done? Attorney suggested dismissing case and just doing a debt consolidation. This really isn’t an option because we can’t get a consolidation loan. Any ideas?

  • #2
    I have no experience with this, but wonder if you can each file your own Chap 13 to avoid the problem? That way, you will each have a limit of $394K. Could one of you qualify for a Chap 7 on your own? If so, you might be able to sever the case, with one of you staying in Chap 13 and the other filing a Chap 7. The court ruled that was an option in this Ohio case: But, it is a district court decision that other courts are not required to follow.

    If your student loan is really is joint debt, having separate cases may not help. You could file Chap 11. I don't know enough about Chap 11 to know if that would be a good option.

    In a Google search, I found this interesting article about a judge who did not dismiss a Chap 13 case when student loan contributed to the debtor exceeding the debt limits. It looks like an appeal of that case is pending, but not at a high enough level that it would set precedent in other districts. But, this case could be used as a persuasive argument against dismissing your case. You might want to share it with your attorney. He could try opposing the motion to dismiss using the same argument.

    If your your attorney's only recommendation was debt consolidation, I suspect he may not be willing to fight or try out of the box solutions. If he won't fight and can't offer another acceptable solution for you, you may want to start consulting with other bankruptcy attorneys. But, you probably don't have a lot of time. If you call other attorneys, be clear what your issue is to make sure they might be willing to help. If they aren't interested, ask if they know another attorney who might be.
    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!


    • #3
      Thanks for the suggestions. My attorney said Ohio doesn’t recognize double limits for married. Neither of us qualify for a 7 until March of 2019. We are going to try credit counseling for the next few months and hope to hold out until we can file a 7.


      • #4
        Did you ask him about using the argument in the case I mentioned to try to oppose the trustee's objection? In that case, the debtor exceeded the debt limit and the judge did not dismiss the Chap 13. Your judge may not buy the argument, but it seems worth a try.
        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!


        • #5
          I showed him case law from Kansas and he either wouldn’t or couldn’t use it. He has already filed the voluntary dismissal. We will try to hold off the sharks until March and file a 7.


          • #6
            Get a Google Voice number and set all accounts to it, thus able to easily ignore collections calls. Start really planning your bankruptcy now. Are any of those debts for a failed business venture?


            • #7
              If you don't mind my asking, what is pushing you to file right now? Could you wait until March 2019? When a debtor calls, just explain that this call is terminating on a cellular telephone. That you incur a fee for each call received. They do not have permission to call your number. Then tell them that you recorded the call (if you are in a one party recording state). The calls will wither away quickly.


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