The Chapter 13
- Trustee Fees – This is the amount you must pay to the trustee each month to administer the case. This is approximately $70.00. Every case will have a payment that is at least this amount.
- Attorney Fees – Your attorney will be with you each year throughout your Chapter 13. The work he or she will do can be extensive. The standard fee in this state for Chapter 13 work is between $3,000 and $3,500. Depending on how much you pay up front, the remainder is put into your plan. In most cases, the remaining amount is about $2,000.
- Priority Debt – Priority debt cannot be discharged. Priority debt can include recent taxes, back child support, domestic support or government fines. All of this debt must be paid in full in your plan.
- Secured Debt – If you wish to keep property that collateralizes a loan, you must continue making the monthly payment. Your attorney will help you determine if the payment should be part of your plan payment. People may choose Chapter 13 to catch up on a home mortgage. The amount you are behind will be paid over the life of the plan as you begin making your regular mortgage payment as well. Car loans may be subject to cram-down, which is also part of the payment.
- Value of Non-exempt Property – In a Chapter 7, you will surrender any non-exempt property that you have. That is why it is important to consult with an attorney before you file to protect your property. If, however, you wish to keep non-exempt property, you may choose to file a Chapter 13. However, the value of that property must be paid through the life of the plan. This is called a liquidation analysis. For example, if you wish to keep a $3,600 ATV that you own free and clear and you enter into a 3 year plan, your payment will go up by $100, or $3,600 divided by 36 payments.
- Budget Excess – Finally, the trustee will examine your budget to determine if any money is left over after taking out all reasonable expenses. If your income adds up to $4,000 per month and your acceptable expenses add up to $3,950, then $50 will be added to your payment. The list of reasonable expenses and the amounts you can claim can vary case to case. The trustee will look for any expenses that are beyond national and local standards or are arguably unnecessary. Our job is to identify all of your necessary expenses in your budget that will be accepted by the court and the trustee. If an expense is unusual but necessary, we can argue before the judge to allow it and help keep your payment low.
FROM OUR CLIENTS
David helped my brother resolve a case that was dragging on and on with a public defender within 10 days of me reaching out to him (and got a much better deal for my brother). Worth the money and is very nice to work with!
Mr. Moorhead is professional and intelligent. He is extremely good at navigating the legal system. I would highly recommend him to anyone in need of legal services.
David Moorhead was a miracle worker. We hired him to finish a case that kept going on and on for years by an overworked public defender. He got it done in days. Not only did he get it done in days, he went beyond what we hired him to do and got a way better agreement than we anticipated. I can’t recommend him enough.