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New. Will be filing ch13 with no assets

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    New. Will be filing ch13 with no assets

    Going to be filing a 13 here in Honolulu HI. I have zero assets, rent, no car, no student loans and an in about 30k in unsecured credit card and loan debt. An also currently being waged garnished to the tune of about $850 per month. I earn about $46,000 per year.

    I have low rent, which may change even double in January. And I have begun the process of not paying the bills and turning off auto pay and moving my checking amount to a new one

    I am filing a13 because I do not have the money to do so for a 7. Yes I have spoken to several lawyers and the one I am using will come up with a payment plan and realizes if he gets the garnishment released, that $850 that could be used to pay him. At this point for the state they won't release the garnishment until I either file BK or pay the $3500 in full. About $2200 of that tax is over 5 years old. Il owe Fed about 1300 for 2020 and 2021.

    I'd 7 like to file the 7, but just don't have that money, both separate lawyers I consulted estimate an under $350 monthly payment. Yes they both suggested a7 first. They are experienced but I've read people having to pay much more. My thought is to eventually convert to a 7 when I have more money to be saved by not paying the credit card bills.
    Last edited by AllenAJD; 11-04-2022, 03:20 AM.

    It appears you are concerned with paying the attorney up front. Due to the garnishment, you can't afford to do so. Once the garnishment stops (by filing bk) you will be able to make a monthly payment to the Chapter 13 Trustee and the attorney will be paid out of those funds. In essence, it sounds like the attorney is willing to file a Chapter 13 Petition with no money down (except maybe the $313 filing fee) but will not agree to this if you file a Chapter 7. Did I get this right?

    Assuming I got it right, filing a Chapter 13 when you qualify for a Chapter 7 (below median income, normal monthly budget without payment on credit cards and other dischargeable debt leaves you in the negative each month, have no assets a Chapter 7 Trustee can take) makes little sense.

    I realize you have spoken to a few attorneys. I recommend you talk to more. Here is a link to a list provided by the Hawaii bankruptcy court:

    The court cannot recommend any attorney. It simply has a list of attorneys who handle bks.

    Another alternative is to file pro se (on your own). While not recommended by me (an attny), if you have a good head on your shoulders and can deal with paperwork, it certainly would resolve the issue of paying an attny up front. You can even ask the court to allow you to pay the filing fee ($338 for a Chapter 7) in installments or even waive it.



      Welcome to BKForum. I see that des has already provided an excellent response.
      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

      Any advice provided is not legal advice, but simply the musings of a fellow bankrupt.


        I'm sure it makes little sense and the lawyers agree but I do not have 2000 to pay for a bk right now and the state is garnishing me 850 month.

        My thought after garnish stops and I can put some money aside is to convert.

        Not sure what taking to more lawyers would accomplish. I've spoken to four so far. I simply cannot come up with the money to file a bk, if I didn't have the garnishment I'd wait a few months, but 850 draining me prevents that.


          I also could not come up with the money to file BK.

          I went ahead and did the filing pro se. It took a few months to educate myself enough to do it…and I also filed to have the BK filing fee waived. Since I had very little assets and the wild card exemption would cover all of it…a chapter 7 made sense.

          the waiver was granted…so I did not pay the ~$300 filing fee either.

          I think since you Have nothing to protect in a chapter 7, your paper work would be even simpler than my own was. Consider looking into that. You can read all the info on line, and ask detail questions of each individual form here. It is doable, just take all the time you need to understand it. Ask all the question you need to here…everyone will give you information just for the asking.

          also…you do not have to pay that fee all at once up front. Once you file, the automatic stay will stop the garnishment. You are allowed to pay the filing fee in installments.


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