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Point at which getting a job will not be detrimental

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  • Point at which getting a job will not be detrimental

    I have started down the road of bankruptcy. My initial understanding was it would take a week to file, a month (following filing) until the creditors meeting, and then two months (following that meeting) until discharge. I have paid the lawyer, had him file the paperwork, and have so far been pleased with the results. I have one nagging question though. In my decision making process, I met with one lawyer who adamantly stated that I should not obtain work until after discharge (in three months or so). I also met with a lawyer who stated he believed this was completely incorrect, and that I merely needed to wait until after the creditors meeting (in a month).

    Has anyone gone through similar? What were your results? Should I wait until after the creditors meeting or until after discharge? I realize this is all conversational, but simply looking for people's inputs.

    One other question - I currently live with my girlfriend, and that first lawyer stated in all probability ~her~ income would be included in the means test. I've never been married to her, so this sounded strange. The second lawyer stated this was likewise incorrect (he said "where else would you live since you have no money?"). Perhaps a case of one lawyer being very conservative? Any thoughts on this part? If it helps we do have a child together, but again have never been married.

    Thanks in advance for any and all help! =)

  • #2
    What does the attorney you hired say about these issues?

    Your girlfriend's contribution to the household should be included in calculating your net income. Depending on the situation, that could mean all or part of her income would be included. See line 8 of the means test:

    Many have reported being offered and taking jobs after filing and before the 341. It wasn't a problem and shouldn't be. Your BK filing is a snap shot of your situation on the day you file. Finding a job after filing is irrelevant to a Chap 7. It's possible a trustee may dig a bit to make sure you didn't get the job until after you filed. But, that should be the worse that can happen. If your current attorney has told you to delay getting a job, ask why and what would happen if you did get a job.
    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
      The first attorney said that the issues were immensely important. He discussed the "means test", he added my girl's pay into the equation, and by the skin of my teeth I passed. The second attorney (the one that I wound up using) stated that he strongly disagreed with the first attorney. He stated that "since I had just moved to Texas, where was I expected to go?" and that since I had no relatives in the state nor friends, that this shouldn't be an issue. I questioned him about this explicitly, and he stood his ground and said a second time that it would not be an issue. Not wanting to be a bad client, I figured since I'd retained his services I would bow to his better judgement. But, if he asks me to lie, fib, stretch the truth (or anything similar) for the creditors meeting, I will balk. I simply won't do it. Not when the means test was already safely passed. I want to do this 100% correctly, and don't want anything coming back to haunt me. There have been a few other things this attorney has done that I found strange, but I'm trying to hang on and be a good client. One was that he wanted to take my picture (and did so). I've never had an attorney ask me to take off my glasses and take my picture. I found that to be strange. Also, for whatever reason, he won't open attachments. I sent excel files to him but he stated he couldn't open them. He asked instead that I bring in documents personally or to fax them, but won't respond to e-mails (even when I ask for a response). Are these things normal? In the meantime, again, I sit by and try to be a good client, but I have concerns.


      • #4
        A good client asks questions in order to understand what is going on in their case. Don't be afraid to do that. Is there anything that is in your petition that is not correct? If so, you should discuss that with your attorney. As long as eveyrthing in your petition is correct, there is no reason telling the truth at your 341 will cause any problems.

        Taking your photo is odd. I'm not sure why he would do that. Maybe he just wants a reminder of what you look like so that when he meets you at your 341, he'll remember who you are. I do remember wondering whether my attorney would recongize me at the 341 since we had only met in person once before. I got the feeling that if I hadn't looked at him with an expression of reckognition when he walked in the door, he wouldn't have known who I was.

        Many attorneys are not very technically savy. I can believe that he doesn't know how to open an attachment. Some attornies don't like to communicate with their clients by email because email is too easily forwarded to the wrong person. They don't want to jeopardize Attorney/Client privilege.
        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've attempted at different points to speak with him, but he has a tendency to talk over a person. I've dealt with various attorney's in the past, and they all have their own unique personalities. Some will listen, some will not. Early on with this attorney he seemed to have a "strong drive to get things done" ~ in contrast to some who appear half-bored and won't allow for anything other than their pre-planned script. I agree that a good client should ask questions, and I'm seriously debating whether I want to ask him about this issue one more time (perhaps, with my girlfriend, as it would be her information that would be needed should the scope of the work change and her information is needed). What I am very fearful of (and I've never been through this, and don't know), is we get to the creditors meeting, they say that ~indeed~ my GF's pay is called into question, and the attorney asks for more money and more time is required. At this point however, I've asked him twice, so I'll go with what he's presented for the moment and will see what happens. Tremendous thanks for your input btw, and I definitely will share my experiences as the case unfolds. =) btw, with the creditor's meeting in a month, do you have an idea of how soon (or late) before the meeting he would notify me to let me know the date and time of said meeting? Huge huge thanks for your help.


          • #6
            I am a BK lawyer in Massachusetts. The means test is based on the last 6 full months of income, so if you were hired the day after filing, it does not effect your filing. (Unless it's like a million dollar a year job, then maybe)


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