lmstalnaker

Chapter 13 w/o a lawyer? Can I find a lawyer with a payment plan for Chap 13?

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I have filed a Chap 7 w/o the use of a lawyer over 7 years ago. I see that there have been a lot of changes since then. I am under the State Median Income, however, my state (Maryland) does not allow for a homestead exemption. Therefore, I believe that I need to file a chap 13. Though I will not even begin to insult the legal profession by pretending that some do-it-yourself books can compare to the help of a trained professional, I don't see how to find the money to pay a lawyers fee.

Also, I am still confused as to who actually is considered in determining household size while computing the state median. I have, and still do, lived with my fiance & his three children for 5 years. He has a small business which earns less than $3000 a year. I am basically the sole provider for all of us. Are we legally a family of 5?

Thank you for your help & insight!!! 8]

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I'm not sure about this since the new laws were passed but when we did our 13 in 2000, the attorneys fees were paid through the plan.(and I checked with 4 different lawyers and they were all the same)

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Correct. The lawyers get paid thru the Ch 13 plan. The exemptions for MD are puny, only 5K for Real and Personal property, +1000 in 'household good's and a 6K wildcard.

If your fiance contributes to normal household expenses, then his income would have to be included in the calculations. If your paycheck goes to support these children, then they should be considered in the calcs as well. You REALLY need to ask a lawyer.

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:roll: Thank you!! This is all so overwhelming! I am going to do more research into finding a lawyer. Now that I have more info, I have a better chance of finding a lawyer to suit my needs.

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Most bk lawyers in 13 plans are paid entirely over the course of the plan. You should have no problem finding a good one who will agree. Depending on how knowledgeable you are, you can do the whole thing yourself w/o a lawyer. I actually did and my case went through as smooth as silk! Before confirmation however, I had lawyers coming out of the woodwork wanting to be included in my plan! <g> They deluged me with letters and even phone calls. Be aware though that in most cases it's better to retain a lawyer as if you are not an expert on bankruptcy code you may miss something that could benefit your case or even worse, result in dismissal. Most Trustees will assist as will the court in seeing that your case doesn't get derailed. Why? Because if your case flops, the Trustee doesn't get his commission! Usually those do are the result of blatant disregard or stupidity and you wouldn't believe how some filers behave at their hearings! Also, MD may in fact have a homestead exemption and that is something you will need to research. I found my experience with the Bk court a good one!

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