How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask WALLSTREETESQ Your Own Question
WALLSTREETESQ
WALLSTREETESQ, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 17080
Experience:  14 years exp., CH 7 AND 13 Bankruptcy cases, AFL-CIO UNION PLUS, UFT NYSID AND ALL MAJOR UNIONS
16356563
Type Your Bankruptcy Law Question Here...
WALLSTREETESQ is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

A debtor filing Chapter 7 has below-median income (so no presumption

Resolved Question:

A debtor filing Chapter 7 has below-median income (so no presumption of abuse), but has discretionary income of $1,600.00 and unsecured non-priority debt of $120,000 (so could pay about 48% of debt over a 3-year Chapter 13 plan). In that situation, how likely is it that a trustee would dismiss the debtor's Chapter 7 plan as an abuse?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  WALLSTREETESQ replied 4 years ago.

WALLSTREETESQ :

Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarification

WALLSTREETESQ :

Is the discretionay income after paying all monthly expenses?

Customer:

Yes it is.

WALLSTREETESQ :

Will the debtor file a chapter 7 and convert to a 13?

WALLSTREETESQ :

Since his discretionary income is significant,

WALLSTREETESQ :

the trustee would not allow a chapter 7 discharge, and force a converstion to a chapter 13 case,

WALLSTREETESQ :

In terms of a chapter 13 the debtor could elect to have a 5 year plan, the trustee would not force a 3 year plan.

WALLSTREETESQ :

The trustee would not dismiss the case, but convert it to a chapter 13 in most instances,

Customer:

What is the usual cut off for either discretionary income or percentage of unsecured non-priority debt that can be paid?

WALLSTREETESQ :

Typically it would be $300 a month, but it is up to the trustee,

WALLSTREETESQ :

$100 is the minimum you are allowed to have but I have had cases where $300 or more has been allowed,

WALLSTREETESQ :

In terms of a chapter 13 percentage, it can be as low as 5%

Customer:

What about the high in Chapter 13 percentage - how high of a percentage of unsecured non-priority debt will the trustee usually go before saying it is too much for a Chapter 7 filing.

WALLSTREETESQ :

Chapter 13 bankruptcy debt limits for unsecured debt will be $360,475 and for secured debt, the limit will be $1,081,400.

Customer:

Sorry, I meant for the percentage that a Chapter 7-filing debtor could pay in a hypothetical Chapter 13 plan. It is no surprise that a trustee would dismiss a Chapter 7 (or force Chapter 13) in a case where the debtor has the ability to pay 48 percent of the unsecured non-priority debt. But how high can that percentage usually go before the trustee says that is too much for a Chapter 7 (I am guessing somewhere around 25 percent)?

WALLSTREETESQ :

in this case I can see a trustee force him to file a chapter 13, and pay $1600 every month to creditors, in terms of percentage, that is not up to the debtor or trustee, it is based on how much discretionary income is left over, he has to pay the entire discretionary income to his creditors in a chapter 13

WALLSTREETESQ :

a chapter 13 plan is as low as 5% to 100%

WALLSTREETESQ :

it depends on discretionary income, the debtor has to pay whatever is left over

Customer:

Ok - makes sense now. Thank you...

WALLSTREETESQ and 5 other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you