Kentucky Bankruptcy Law

Counsel with Care

Lessons Learned the Hard Way

As an attorney primarily serving debtors, many of whom are in Chapter 13 bankruptcies, these “Lessons Learned” are quite valuable. As for the first case described, that may not be the end of the road for those debtors. Depending on how severely their income was restricted and if/when they may have received a discharge in a prior bankruptcy, a subsequent Chapter 7 may give them a fresh start. However, if they could not afford the Chapter 13, they would need to surrender the motorcycle in the Chapter 7.

As for the second case discussed, I find that it is very, very common that debtors miss various deadlines. This happens most often in a Chapter 13 with reporting bonuses and with step-ups in payments. These increases in plan payments often occur because loan repayments on 401k loans are completed and this is planned for at the beginning of the Chapter 13. With the loan repaid, they have more income to devote to the plan. I strongly encourage my clients to create an electronic calendar, such as a Google calendar, and go ahead and input every deadline for the duration of their plan with reminders.

Attorney’s can advise and inform, but ultimately it is your life and livelihood, so be sure to be pro-active by being organized. Sometimes, disorganization was a factor that led to the financial challenge to begin with, so forcing this discipline of advance scheduling may help stay on track after the bankruptcy concludes.

Chapter 13 Trustee, EDKY: Trustee's Blog

When debtors cannot comply with terms of a confirmed plan due to unexpected circumstances, the noncompliance cannot always be fixed by modifying the plan or seeking court approval after the fact.  This post is about two cases that were dismissed for reasons you might find surprising (but shouldn’t).

Case #1 – Keeping “Toys”:  Debtors proposed a 100% plan in exchange for keeping a Harley and three vehicles.  They only had about $7,000 in general unsecured claims, but they really wanted to keep their Harley and a truck they didn’t need, and they had a very good income at the time.  Plan confirmed.

By month 50, the debtors’ income dropped because their employers cut back on hours and reduced hourly rates, and the debtors fell behind in plan payments.  They tried to modify the plan to surrender the Harley, lower plan payments, and substantially reduce the dividend to unsecured creditors. …

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December 28, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment