If you must withdraw your 401k due to the job termination you can arrange for a direct rollover into the IRA to preserve your exemption from creditors..
Law Office of Jeffrey Solomon
3864 Sheridan St.
Hollywood, FL 33021
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There are ways of dealing with unusual income during the 6 months prior to filing bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 based on Supreme Court authority you are not absolutely bound by the 6 months prior income. In Fort Lauderdale Chapter 13 cases, we use a "Lanning" clause based on this case to provide that the income that will not be repeated should not be held against you in the plan. Even in a chapter 7, if the case had to be filed now, there is a procedure with a Rebuttal of the Presumption of...
A discharge is usually received soon after the 60 day deadline from the meeting of creditors. This is the deadline for trustees and creditors to object to your discharge. A case can remain open to collect assets and disburse them to creditors for years. The case remains open, even though you have your discharge.
The creditor is listed and received notice of the bankruptcy. The entire debt will be discharged even if you do not list the correct balance. This would also be true even if you had listed the amount of the debt as "unknown". The creditor could always file a proof of claim in the bankruptcy with the correct amount. (Note that in a no asset chapter 7 case, the court will send out a notice that claims should not be filed)
The chapter 7 trustee in some cases will hire an attorney. The hiring must be approved by the court, which is routine. The attorney will only get paid if the trustee collects assets. The trustee is hiring an attorney because the trustee wants to further investigate your case. This is more common when you are self-employed because a business may have value. You might have received your discharge, but the case may remain open to investigate assets.
As a Broward County attorney, I can tell you that there is a possibility the trustee will try to sell your home to an investor if you do not claim the homestead. A full discussion would be needed to evaluate your situation. Your goal to obtain the benefit of the extra $4,000 could work, but you should be aware of the risks.
The overall issue should involve a consultation with an attorney. How much is the debt? Do you have other debts? How much is in the bank? You might have to account for funds you take out from the bank, but of course you do not want a garnishment.
I agree that you can file a chapter 13 bankruptcy but cannot obtain a discharge. There is a new mandatory mortgage mediation program that would apply to a Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy. Other than your mortgage, there is a question as to what debts you have since you should not have any new debts (and the mortgage itself would have been discharged without a reaffirmation agreement). If you do not have a mortgage issue, you should discuss with an attorney to see if there is any point to filing...
HOA and condo fees can be a trap without a full understanding and proper advice. The owner continues to be responsible for all association fees after the date of filing bankruptcy as long as you continue to be the owner of the property. This is true even if the Statement of Intention in the bankruptcy says you intend to surrender. This is true even if you move out. Banks often do not want to foreclosure quickly on condos, and you could be stuck with personal liability.
As a Broward County bankruptcy attorney, I can tell you that you can file a chapter 13 to pay secured debt even though you cannot obtain a discharge. Has the chapter 7 been completed, has there been a discharge yet? The ability to strip a second mortgage or association lien is lost after obtaining a discharge, (based on local judges' opinions). It may be advisable to file a motion to convert the chapter 7 to a chapter 13. A chapter 13 also permits you to participate in a new mortgage...