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Justbroke's Chapter 13 Rant

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    #16
    Everyone should read this, very important stuff! I wish i knew now what i knew back when i first started.

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      #17
      I do agree there should be money figured in as a cushion. They definitely put you on a VERY tight budget

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        #18
        JB, you are absolutely correct about a budget being blown out of the water for one item going up. One of the other issues is how to factor in life changing moments like the cost of a child going to College. Then trying to figure the costs for those expenses. My child had been accepted by Embry Riddle Daytona which was her dream choice but at over 80,000 a year and only enough money for a local state college her options were rooted in reality. She has finally come to terms with her current degree and has a pretty manageable student debt, that I will assume once she completes her 4 year degree.

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          #19
          This rant has given me some serious insight in my planning. I’m still quite a ways from filing my Chapter 13. The rant and some of the subsequent replies has given me reason to decide to actually track my expenses prior to actually figuring out my proposed budget schedule. When I file, I will be in a 100% repayment plan lasting five years. (I’ll go into that more in other threads.). When I first looked at the budget it seemed easy. Just plug in some numbers. Estimate a little over for cushion. I did not really think about exactly what groceries cost because I only thought about the weekly tip to the grocery store. What about that milk run? Getting some bread? And those school lunches. Again, thank you for your insight.

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            #20
            With all of the information available today, I think not writing a realistic budget/plan falls on the shoulders of the filer just as much, if not more than the attorney. You have to choose an experienced attorney who does this as their main practice, not on the side. That is on you to do your research. Our attorney provided us with a binder of worksheets to fill out, with clear instructions. He's an excellent attorney. I then did a lot of online research about allowable costs - the information is out there if you choose to look. I looked up the allowable amount for food for a family of 5 & that is what I put down. I looked up every single allowable amount (national & state standards) I could find & that is what I put down, I did not try to look better by putting lower numbers, you're hurting yourself if you do that. I made a spreadsheet of our utilities for the past year & averaged them out, accounting for higher electric in the peak of summer & winter. I put every utility I could on even billing to make them easier to pay. When I filled out the worksheets, we spent very little on medical but I knew with 3 boys anything was possible. So I made sure that my budget included money to cover our deductible. Which was smart because since then we've been through all kinds of testing & broken arms & bulging discs. These unusual expenses didn't break us because I had them in the plan. I spent days putting together our worksheets. They were well thought out & researched based on our previous expenses & possible expenses (medical). I did not wing it or guess at any number. My attorney was very impressed with my worksheets & that we didn't need to tweak any numbers.

            When filling out your worksheets, look at https://www.justice.gov/ust/means-testing/
            • National standards for food, clothing, and health care.
            • State standards for housing and utility costs.
            • State and national standards for transportation expenses.
            Use those standards & don't lowball to impress the trustee. They'd rather see you succeed.

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              #21
              I really appreciate this information however I must admit my first attorney did a poor job by telling me to wait and I would be able to file a Chapter 7 and keep my home, fast forward and being retired disabled vet my VA disability counted as income so not only did I have a vehicle payment that could not be crammed down I now had mortgage arrearage that could have been avoided had the attorney knew the rules about VA disability and military retirement. By the time I fired him and went with new attorney I only had room for a few months reprieve to visit sick family member/funeral travel and then it was back to my high payments.

              It's been a rough 16 months and my only saving grace was approval in February 2019 of my SSDI (social security disability) as it was my illness from my military career that kept me out of the workplace for 2 years so I was fighting on all ends.

              Talk about unrealistic, thank goodness for friends and family that stuck by me during my lowest moments and even though my payments will drop in Jun 2019 I still have one of the highest payments I've seen on the board at $2704.01 to $2448.00.

              IMO what really needs to be looked at are the limits that are part of the worksheets. State standards for housing, food, clothing and definitely health care have not changed in YEARS and do not benefit a one person income. Talk about ranting I could go and on but at this point I just want this 5 years to be over and done and its so disappointing when you don't qualify for Chapter 7 and finally come to terms with Chapter 13 only to be punished for 3 to 5 years which feels more like a prison sentence than something that will benefit you in 5 years even though I know it will be a benefit when it's all over and done.

              This board has been my saving grace and post from justbroke, and @ladyinRed as well as others have helped me and others so much. So thanks to you both and all the others that have helped me and others along the way!!



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