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

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. 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. 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 information ("the answer") provided above is for general information and educational purposes only. The answer should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Posting the question and reviewing the answer does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. My firm will ask you to sign a written contract prior to the commencement of representation in any attorney-client relationship. Please contact 770 427 5600 or 404 373 1970, if you wish to discuss your situation further. Skaar & Feagle, LLP accepts select consumer rights cases. These cases include, but are not limited to, cases of abusive and unlawful collection activity, debt defense, credit reporting of false or obsolete (old) information, high interest lenders (title pawns, payday loans), debt management plans, and fraud or unfair practices in the sale and financing of automobiles.


  3. 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 your important decisions, please contact our office directly for a free phone or in person consultation. Robert M. Gardner, Jr. Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP hmgrmg@yahoo.com 53 W. Candler St. Or 718 Oak St. Winder, Ga. 30680 Gainesville, Georgia (770) 307-4899 (770) 538-0555 gadebtlaw.com hicksmasseyandgardner.com serving metro Atlanta and all of Northeast Georgia Bankruptcy, Divorce, Personal Injury, Worker’s Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Adoption, Civil and Criminal Litigation


  4. 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 communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at geaatl@msn.com . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.