People think lawyers are expensive. Not having a lawyer can be more expensive.
You recently filed bankruptcy while your wife owns a house with a quarter-million dollars of equity. Chapter 7 is liquidation. People really do lose things in bankruptcy. Once the case has begun, it'll be very difficult to get out of it, for exactly the same reasons you will want to get out of it. The facts - backed up by documentary evidence - will establish whether you have a community interest in your wife's...
I'm sorry to hear about your marital difficulties. This can result in all kinds of change, both emotional, physical (living spaces), and financial.
As far as bankruptcy goes, your options are:
1) continue with your Chapter 13, modifying your plan to account for changes in the budget.
2) convert the case to Chapter 7, which (given the fact you filed to "save our house") would likely result in losing your home .
3) have the bankruptcy case dismissed, and solve your debt problems outside...
Short answer: probably not.
Slightly longer answer: The means test is the gatekeeper to Chapter 7. It's not clear that you pass the means test, and missing is whether your wife is employed or not, making your income even higher than your comfortable salary.
The safe answer is, probably not. While I have helped people who earn high incomes like you file Chapter 7, legally and ethically, you do not seem to fit that fact pattern. You have only one secured debt, no priority debt, no court-...
You are asking the court to make a ruling. With that request, you are responsible for providing evidence to back it up. The other side can respond and provide the court evidence that contradicts yours. There are no guarantees in law, and especially Chapter 13 bankruptcy. So, short answer: you're responsible for providing your own evidence, which the court may or may not give much weight to. I hope this helps.
Bankruptcy is not good for everyone's situation. Do you have to file bankruptcy? Of course not. Can you? Yes. Should you? That's a question on you can decide, once you weigh the many factors.
What are those factors? In my opinion:
* your age
* your earning history
* your education background
* your ability to handle stress
* your desire for closure
You may be judgment-proof today, but depending on various factors, you may not be forever. If you land your dream...
You indicate that you're in California, which is the Ninth Circuit.
Lorraine McNeal v. GMAC Mortgage is a case in the Eleventh Circuit.
It's not binding here in California, and to my knowledge, there is no similar case to it in our circuit.
First, you are not eligible to receive a Chapter 7 discharge at this time. Converting would not help you with your goals. You may consider having this case dismissed, and then paying and filing a new bankruptcy (Chapter 7) in or after July 2013.
Second, you have concerns about attorney fees, and the very real prospect of paying your lawyer more money for a potential Chapter 7. Realize that Chapter 13 cases are time-consuming and labor-intensive for attorneys. Any fees you agreed to pay your...
Once a creditor obtains a judgment against you, it can seize assets, levy accounts, etc. Perhaps your accounts and income are protected from being attached. But to answer your question: creditors are entitled to perform a judgment debtor's exam, which is a long deposition process whereby it learns everything about your financial situation. In short, you educate the creditor where your stuff is so they can maybe take it.
You need to cooperate with them, and they are entitled wide latitude....
11 USC 527(b) requires any attorney you consult with to disclose to you that you can file bankruptcy for yourself, and do not need an attorney.
While you're free to try, many bankruptcy attorneys won't touch Chapter 11 cases because they are so complicated and time-consuming. Legal to file on your own? Yes. Doable? Hardly. Is it possible that maybe you're confusing it with another chapter?
What you can do and what is wise to do are completely different things. Many attorneys accept...
Considering that your debt load is relatively small, and given that there's a probability the court will rule you don't owe this or any other money, I'd wait to find out what happens. You can always file bankruptcy later.