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My 1 yr update to: Advice needed badly/in a panic!!!

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  • My 1 yr update to: Advice needed badly/in a panic!!!

    1 year ago I started a thread that received so much wonderful advice. We had been working with an attorney for a few years... had held off filing so to make sure the timing was right-husband had retired, income amount was changing...We had been served with a warrent, so we needed to file before year end. It came as a complete shock when our attorney told us our payment was going to be $1600/$1700.00 per month and that he wasn't able to fit our cell phone bill, cable/internet bill or life insurance into our budget. We knew we'd never be able to live for 5 years on such a tight budget and after coming here to post our concerns, we fired the attorney. One week later we hired a new attorney and 2 months later we were confilmed with a payment of $300.00 per month. The plan is livable and we were able to keep our cell phones, cable & internet and most importantly our life insurance policies!

    Even though the plan is livable and we are getting by okay, we aren't swimming in cash. It's very hard living without credit. In 1 year we've had multipal home repairs that have need to be done...received a bill from the IRS for an error on our returns... one of our auto's needs a gasket repaired to the tune of $2500.00-$3000.00. Also we just received a letter from husbands employee that 1 year ago thay made an error and over paid his disability by $900.00 and can we please send them a check for that amount within 30 days, LOL!

    1 year down, 4 years to go, but we will make it!!! Very thankful for this site!
    Retained atty 3/2010. Filed Chapter 13 on 1/2013.

  • #2
    Originally posted by sheilaE View Post
    n our attorney told us our payment was going to be $1600/$1700.00 per month and that he wasn't able to fit our cell phone bill, cable/internet bill or life insurance into our budget. We knew we'd never be able to live for 5 years on such a tight budget and after coming here to post our concerns, we fired the attorney. One week later we hired a new attorney and 2 months later we were confilmed with a payment of $300.00 per month.
    WOW. Isn't that something! Valuable lesson here for the newbies... would love to make that a sticky!
    This is why it is SO important to talk to a coupla three lawyers!

    Anyway... congrats on making it thru the first year! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    Keep On Smilin'


    • #3
      Sticky it is....
      "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

      "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."


      • #4
        What was the difference between the original 1600 payment plan and the $300 payment plan - was the form filled out wrong the first time?


        • #5
          We actually never found out why. When we told him there'd be no way we could survive with that payment, he told us we'd need to cut back on everything, including driving so we could save on gas, like basically don't leave the house unless we had too, lol. The first thing we did after leaving his office was find a new attorney. We now have 7 months to go. 😊
          Retained atty 3/2010. Filed Chapter 13 on 1/2013.


          • #6
            SheilaE, Thank you for your story. Was the Trustee accepting of the plan? was there any negotiating needed at that point? I am concerned with my large family that I will not be able to stick to the payment.

            I hear consistently if you can budget you can do this...we can budget, we have to 4 kids!! oh not to mention an 85lb coonhound. all 5 of them are very effective and hiding our groceries. medical expenses and prime rate change as forced us to the chapter 13 discussion table. We could no longer rob peter to pay paul with balance transfers.

            Any advice you can provide would/will be greatly appreciated and implemented in our near future.


            • #7
              We were in the same boat and those balance transfers really did us in. It didn't seem so terrible and we always thought we'd recover, but it only got worse. It's been a crazy 5 years. As great as I thought our plan was, I do have to say it hasn't been easy . Everything looked good on paper, but we had so many emergency expenses plus in 5 years all expenses changed. Right after filing, our life insurance went way up, not because of the BK, but it had been 5 years so it was due to increase-I wish I'd known before hand. We had to lower our coverage. Plus cable, cell phones, utilities, gas...everything went up in those 5 years. It's important to not just "get by" each month. You definitely need to put the expense figures on the higher end so you can have a cushion. Here are just a few things we should have planned better for.

              1. Auto repairs: We've had over $5000.00 in repairs in 5 years. 3 cars all needed major work done and we needed all of them to work. We don't live in an area where public transportation is an option.
              2. Pet care: We had 2 large labs, 1 had to be put down due to cancer, and 2 cats. All had trips to the vet and those visits can be very expensive.
              3. Home repairs: So many little things that add up. Our A/C went out during a 100 degree heat wave. The repair was under $300, so not terrible. Our neighbors had to have the entire unit replaced at a cost of $12,000.00. Had that of been us, I don't know what we would have done!

              We're now at the end of our plan. Next month is our final payment!
              Retained atty 3/2010. Filed Chapter 13 on 1/2013.


              • #8
                Congratulations..i know it feels great when you reach the end!!! Take a big sigh and be proud of yourselves for making it through! I'm very happy for you.
                Filed Chapter 13 - 07/20/12
                Discharged 8/2/16


                • #9
                  congrats!!! It takes so much strength on every level to make it thru a 5 year plan!!!!
                  Discharge date: October 2017 (will it ever get here?)


                  • #10
                    So we are in the process if filing BK. We have our meeting with the attorney this Friday. I have listened to the advice hear about being generous with the Schedule J budget and I have done just that. I took the max I paid out any month for a category and put that down. In addition I have been a little overzealous on my other expenses to make sure I cover emergencies and all expenses. Well my problem is that I am about way over what I take home and I am worried this will look bad. Should I curtail it or stick with the numbers I have? Every contingency is covered the way it is set up now. I am worried they will come back and say the budget is ridiculous and say this is what you HAVE to live on. Anyone have a comment for us newbies?


                    • #11
                      I say don't panic until you meet with your attorney. Just know one can put numbers down for the Schedule J but your attorney is going to let you know whether they are reasonable or fit within the guidelines of allowable expenses for your state/size of family. Just because you put a number down doesn't mean it will automatically be approved or declined. You will also be asked for copies of certain receipts -eg., electricity to back up what you've put down. Make sure you show bills from the most expensive time of the year (eg. home heating could be higher/lower based on the time of year ). Good l uck.
                      Filed Chapter 13 - 07/20/12
                      Discharged 8/2/16


                      • #12
                        Yes I was planning on using summer receipts for Electricity and winter receipts for Gas. Right now my expenditures FAR out way my income so I think that will be a read flag, but I put a value down to each item ask if I have incurred expenses there on my budget. This is one of the reasons we are where we are because I just don't make enough for our expenses. Meeting is tomorrow at 2pm so we will see what he says. Thank you!


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