Husband forced to retire in chapter 13. Attorney could not get trustee to reduce payment, now discharge for non payment.

Asked about 1 year ago - Acworth, GA

We were in Chapter 13 for almost 3 years . One month before retirement we contact our attorney due to income reducing considerably , When presented to the trustee she would not reduce payments . We are now almost 2 months in rears and trustee is discharging for non payment . What will happen now . In my opinion I do not think our attorney had much experience in Ga . they are originally from another state . How soon will non secure creditors begin action against us ? And is it possible to contact them to make arrangements ourselves ? I am employed and a nervous wreck that creditors will contact my employer to garnish my wages . I work for a very small company and when something like that happens everyone in the company knows .

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Scott Benjamin Riddle

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Since we don't know all details, no one can second guess your lawyer. The fact that they came from another state does not mean they don't know BR law (which is federal law). It certainly is not surprising that a Trustee would request dismissal (not "discharge") when income drops significantly and the payments can't be made. Your lawyer can propose an amendment even if the Trustee opposes it, or if it dismissed you can see the same lawyer or a different on to explore another 13 or possibly a 7. We don't know your debts, and whether they can be resolved, but there is a reason you filed Ch. 13 in the first place. After dismissal, some creditors might start collection in a month or two and for others it could be longer. Discuss all this with your lawyer.

  2. Kris K. Skaar

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have a lot of questions, so it is clear that you are going to need to speak with another attorney for a "second opinion" on your bankruptcy situation. Another bankruptcy attorney might be able to make an appearance in your present bankruptcy case in an attempt to keep it going, and another bankruptcy attorney will be able to counsel you and your husband on whether you can re-file another bankrupcy (possibly even under a different chapter) if your first bankruptcy gets dismissed.

    As far as how soon creditors contact you after a bankrupcy is dismissed, that answer is simply that it varies. It may be as short as a few weeks, but every year it seems that we have a client (we do debt defense, but not bankrupcy) who is first contacted years after a bankruptcy dismissal.

    Regarding your anxiety over being garnished, first, you can only be garnished if that creditor already has a judgment against you. Until the creditor gets a judgment, they cannot contact your employer for any purpose other than just to get your location (without revealing that they are a collector). You have powerful rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act if a collector embarasses you in front of co-workers and neighbors.

    Skaar & Feagle, LLP maintains offices in Marietta (770 427 5600) and Decatur (404 373 1970), Georgia. The... more
  3. Robert M. Gardner Jr.

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I agree with the others that you should seek a second opinion to see if you can save your current case, or even file a new case, as your payments in a second case may be less. If your case has been dismissed, you can easily recipe.

    The above information is general in nature. In order to obtain more specific and legal advice upon which to base... more
  4. Glen Edward Ashman


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Since no one here has seen your numbers, any of our answers are guesses. You should get a second opionion from another lawyer. (Since bankruptcy law is federal, what state your lawyer is from doesn't matter).

    Because of the nature of some plans, not all plans can be modified in this situation to reduce payments. Other options may be to dismiss and do a new Chapter 13 or convert to a chapter 7.

    My office can give you a second opinion, if you wish to set an appointment. 404-768-3509.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to... more
  5. Matthew Scott Berkus

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Scott gave the perfect answer.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

24,501 answers this week

2,765 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

24,501 answers this week

2,765 attorneys answering

Legal Dictionary

Don't speak legalese? We define thousands of terms in plain English.

Browse our legal dictionary