Chapter 7.. What A Joke
Well here is a brief senerio of my situation. I owed approx. 25K in cc debt and an unsecured personal loan for 10K to HFC. 18 months ago I finally gave up after trying to maintain the minimum payment BS. I was paying better than 20 % on my cc's and a couple were at 27%. I only make 30K a year and knew that there was no way I was ever going to see the light of day with all these debts hanging over my head. That is when I considered BK. My credit was in the toilet already since I stopped paying my cc bills, so BK on my credit report really didn't bother me. I looked into filing myself and after reading posts here and other sources I decided to contact a lawyer. I had my initial consultation and gave him my details...ie. Income 30K, Debt: cc 25K, HFC 10K, Assets: House that I have about 75K equity in and a 1998 Pickup that I own outright that has a blue book value of about 3K. He just told me that there would be no problems and that he would call me if he needed any info and that his services would cost $1900. I agreed and made a $1000 payment and told him I would pay the balance when we were ready to file. I never talked to him again until I had my 341. I met his paralegal to sign all my papers prior to filing and was told that all my figures were in good order, meaning that we played with all the numbers so it looked like I had more going out than I had coming in. My house was homesteaded ( 300K can be protected in MA ) and since I had 3K in equity in my truck and under MA law only $700 can be protected, I was told that the trustee might want to do something about the remaining equity in my truck. Since I wanted to keep the truck I could work out a payment plan with the trustee. At the end of Dec, ( 2 months have elapsed since I had my initial consultation with my lawyer.) I had my 341 and met my lawyer for the second time. I was really worried about what was going to happen at the 341 and I was expecting the trustee to stand up and point at me and scream FRAUD at the top of his lungs because as I stated earlier, we made the figures work so it looked like I had nothing and my expenses far outweighed my income,...ie. food/mo $400, cable $100/mo, gas and insurance for my truck $175/mo.....you get the picture...everything was beefed up. Well the 341 meeting was the biggest joke because not only did it take 2 MINUTES and 5 Questions, The toughest being was, Is that your signature on these forms? He didn't even ask about the equity in my truck!!!!!! All he said was thank you and my discharge would happen in the next couple of months. I guess I just wanted to say that if it really is a no asset case and you can legally protect what assets you have and there is nothing else that you are hiding then go for the chapter 7 and get on with your life. It really is no big deal and as long as you have a lawyer who knows BK law and you follow his advise you should have no problems. I know my case may not be the norm but now that it is over, I sleep better and know that I have been given a second chance to get my life going again without be buried under debt that I never would have been able to get out from under.
$1900.00 ?????? I must of gotten a steal at $613.00 total cost Lawyers in different areas charge vastly different fees. All fees are subject to Court approval; if the fee you paid was substantially higher than the norm for the work involved, the Court can--and does--order a refund.
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