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

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First post. First stages of realization. Questions. Story

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  • #16
    If you really want to see how expenses are divided, google bankruptcy schedule J. That will show you what the categories are. As far as the amounts that are allowed in those categories, your attorney should have a VERY good idea of what flies & what doesn't. Justbroke provided me with some great links with specific numbers for some things ... but at the moment I'm not sure where to locate those. It's the IRS standards, I believe. Like there is a certain amount you'll be allowed for food. Our family was WAY over & it doesn't matter. Some of those are standard numbers your attorney will just fill in for you. Whatever you do, make sure you take absolutely everything they will allow you. Don't say, "oh no, I never spend that much on groceries!" etc. Because those categories are where you'll get any sort of cushion to live on for the things that come up in life like you are talking about.


    • #17
      Small update:

      met with another bankruptcy lawyer. What a difference. As I said meeting with first lawyer I walked into the office, signed a paper about the free consultation, then went into a room with the lawyer while he rattled off questions and went over my paperwork in about 5 minutes. Then told me call back when I stop working overtime.

      This lawyer explained what I was filing for regarding chapter 7 while stopping many times to ask if I had any questions. Said the income is not an issue and that includes the overtime. We will meet together to go over all expenses thoroughly and fill out the form together. Said there is no way I am sticking someone with paperwork to figure out on their own. The free consultation lasted about an hour and a half and never felt pressured to retain her. She gave me a list of a couple things I would need (pay stubs, tax returns, creditor info) and a loft of her fees. Said take the time to review that and If you want to move forward just let me know and we will get started. I can also make payments while they work on paperwork, etc. it is a flat fee that includes all court fees and credit counseling etc.

      I felt a lot better walking out of this meeting where as the first I was basically left more confused. This is a local firm where as the first had many locations in the state so I’m guessing that is why they were charging more. Anyways I will keep you updated throughout the process for those following. Thanks


      • #18
        It sounds like the first attorney took a quick look at your paystubs and then incorrectly estimated your income without actually doing the math.

        Did the second attorney answer your question about continuing to pay your creditors? The standard advice is to stop paying all unsecured dischargeable debt as soon as you know you will file BK. There could be some exceptions that would result in an attorney giving different advice.

        Does the attorney know your marital status? If you are not legally separated, make sure she knows that in case it is an issue.
        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!


        • #19

          its been about 6 months since I had my first attorney meeting. With this attorney I had decided I was going to file. Stopped paying debt besides car and taxes and student loans and making payments to lawyer.

          A couple months ago I was proposed a new job at a different company, slight increase in pay but I was intrigued by the position offered. I talked to my company and they asked for a chance to make a counter offer in which they did and in the end I stayed loyal to my current employer and got a decent pay raise. I worried how it would affect my decision But knew I would still be below median income.

          i started to receive settlement offers and crediitors who would wanted to work with me, I felt guilty and I wanted to try. I sat down and put all my debt in front of me and realized there is just no way I could pay everyone or treat them all equally. So I waited for my divorce to be final and signed my paperwork to file and see my case on PACER today. I felt anxious, paranoid, slight relief when I seen my case.

          When signing paperwork my lawyer went over budget and said.i am about 8K under median but STILL have disposable income around $400 every month, I was surprised by my net take home a month but double checked the math. It’s correct obviously. My overtime has been high the last few months, we were missing an employee and being loyal I worked extra hours to pick up the slack. Also weekend which we are told is now being cut back. I knew I was under median but didn’t realize the overtime would affect my disposable income as much, I had to pay lawyer and other misc. things. My lawyer said she can explain that and I see she went ahead and filed under chapter 7. While I know she has been doing this a long time and chose her for that reason I am still nervous about disposable income obviously want to avoid being forced to chapter 13. I know it the end of the world but anybody have experience with being forced into that?

          i also told my lawyer I will be moving next month she asked if my expenses will be about the same I said yes($7 diffence) so I don’t know when to update with my new address. Worried about that also.

          This is has been a long journey (divorce/bankruptcy/new life) and it feels it’s just getting started still. I will try to keep updating. Thanks for all info and advice on here.


          • #20
            You can't be forced into a Chap 13. If you can't get a Chap 7 discharge, it is your choice whether to convert to a Chap 13 or let your case be dismissed. Don't be afraid of converting to a Chap 13 if it comes to that. It sounds like you have a good attorney who will fight to get you a Chap 7 discharge and then, if that doesn't work out, to get you a fair Chap 13 plan.

            Tell your attorney of your new address as soon as you know the exact day of the change and tell her the effective date.
            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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