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A Court Appointed Trustee Scrutinizes the Income and Regulates the Expenditure

What are some other barriers that someone is going to be facing if they try to go at this on their own?

We have spoken about some of the issues before. Here is more information.

The trustee is responsible for overseeing the bankruptcy.  They will scrutinize the income and the expenses.  If somebody has tried to make their expenses more liberal, the trustee is going to shoot that down.  If they don’t know, for example, that they are supposed to serve the bankruptcy plan on all their creditors and file a proof of service 28 days before a 3:41 hearing, no-one is going to advise them of that.  And if they don’t do it and do it correctly, the case can be dismissed for lack of due process.  An attorney will know that and will know how to proceed properly so that the case moves along instead of stalling

In a Chapter 13, the Attorney’s Fee Can be Placed into the Plan of Reorganization

The Chapter 13 attorney’s fee can be placed into the plan of re-organization.  We become one of your creditors, so, when you make that monthly plan payment, the trustee is going to turn around and pay our fee. That allows for very little out of pocket cost to retain an attorney on a Chapter 13.  Our retainer fee is $500, which is applied to the cost of the bankruptcy, the filing fee, the credit report and the credit counseling classes.  The attorney fees are paid through the plan payment. We know the person can afford it because we see their income and their expenses,  and when we write the plan.

The Importance Of Retaining An Attorney To Handle A Bankruptcy

Why is it so important to secure an attorney when it comes to buy for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

The important duties of an attorney in Chapter 13 bankruptcy are to deal with the creditors, and deal with the trustee.  Really, the only thing the client should have to do in a Chapter 13 is make that bankruptcy plan payment and/or the mortgage payment.  The legal stuff should be left up to the attorney.  If somebody doesn’t have an attorney, then they become their own attorney. At that point, the court and the law presume that they have made conscious choices because they know and understand the law, and also that they know what they are doing.  But in many cases, they don’t and the resulting errors can be costly. it is not only the law as it is written on paper, but how it is executed that are important. An experienced attorney can avoid pitfalls that he has seen, and prevent them from becoming larger problems. Remember the old saying; “he who serves as his own attorney has a fool for a client.”

If There is Some Level of Fraud in a Plan Payment, the Judge can Bar an Individual from Re-filing

You may lose some other benefits of the plan, for instance, the low interest rate on the car or paying back the tax liability, The tax liability will still be there after you get the discharge in the chapter 7 but it will take care of your unsecured debt and you will get some benefit from having gotten a discharge in bankruptcy. I mean most people don’t do multiple Chapter 13 with discharges because, they have solved their financial problem.  But if somebody keeps getting a case dismissed and they re-file,  there may be some level of fraud involved. The judge can bar you from re-filing if he feels that there is fraudulent activity going on.