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cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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I am filing a Chapter 13. I am married. I will be filing

Customer Question

I am filing a Chapter 13. I am married. I will be filing alone, as this debt was all acquired prior to marrying my current wife.

I have a question about Schedule B. Am I listing all the property in our home? For instance, I don't have any jewelry, but my wife I list this, and the value, and then "W" for wife, right?

And Schedule C. Everything I have is exempt, so I list it all, right? I am doing the federal, because I can in New York. What is the difference between columns 3 and 4? I am not sure what the amounts should be. I have $300 in books, so how should this be noted in each column?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  cfortunato replied 4 years ago.
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Bankruptcy and Consumer Protection attorney here to assist you.

1) For Schedule B, you are supposed to list only the property that you own separately from your wife. You are not supposed to list any property that belongs only to your wife. In other words, you are supposed to list any marital property, and also any separate property that belongs solely to you.
(Basically, ''separate'' is property that you owned before your marriage, and any gifts or inheritances you acquired during your marriage.)

2) Yes - on Schedule C you are supposed to list all property that is completely or partially exempt. If all of your property is exempt, you would list all of your property.

3) Column 3 is for the dollar amount of the applicable exemption. Column 4 is the total value of the property the exemption is being applied to (before deducting the exemption).

4) $300 goes in column 3, and $300 goes in column 4 - assuming all of your property is exempt, as you indicated.

I think this is what you wanted to know. If not, please let me know.
Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so much for the information. Very clear, concise and well-written.


I am filing this without the aid of an attorney. I am not trying to protect any major property or belongings, etc. Just trying to lower the amount of child support arrears garnished per check.


I just found out I can tip you. GOOD TO KNOW. :)


1. I have a garnishment for child support arrears, which I need lowered. That is the main reason I am filing the 13. Once I file, will that stop the garnishment, because now I would be paying through the bankruptcy? My plan shows payment in 5 years.


2. Schedule E: My wife is the creditor for the child support arrears. Is the date claim was incurred when I was court ordered to pay...also, what would my consideration be? Is it contingent, unliquidated or disputed?


3. Schedule G - I am assuming this is my portion of the rent, etc. Now, my car is owned by my wife (with a note on it) and the insurance is in her name too. My credit is bad. Is she the holder of the car lease? Do I list cell phone contracts and electric bills under here too?


4. Schedule I - I am married, but filing alone. Does my wife's income still go here?


5. Schedule J - Is this just my expenditures or of my wife and I (we are the only 2 in the household)?

Expert:  cfortunato replied 4 years ago.
1) Bankruptcy has no affect on child support obligations, either current or arrears.
2) Yes - the date you incurred the arrears is the date of the judgment. If you are in the process of appealing the arrears amount, then you would check "Disputed". Otherwise, you would not place a check in either of the 3 columns.
3) a) In general, both parties (renters) on a lease are liable for the entire amount of the rent, not 1/2. Accordingly, you would list the entire lease amount.
b) Your wife cannot own a car if it is being leased. If your wife signed the leasing contract, and you did not, then the lease is in your wife's name, and this information would not belong in the Bankruptcy petition.
4) If you and your wife are still living together, then her income does belong on Schedule I, even she is not filing also. If you and your wife are living separately, then her income does not belong on Schedule I. (Note: you can live in the same house or apartment, but still be living separately.)
5) Same as answer #4.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi. You stated that bankruptcy has no affect on child support obligations, either current or arrears. I understand that I am to remain current on my child support obligations - I have never missed a payment in five years. It's the arrears (due to child care costs and an excellent lawyer my ex-wife had) that are killing me through the garnishment. Is there no way via bankruptcy to reduce the amount I am paying in arrears each month? I thought I would be able to cut that in half, and then apply my tax returns to the balance - which would then allow me to pay all of this off within the five years.


So, what you're saying is, is that filing bankruptcy will, in no way, how, shape or form be able to stop the garnishment of the arrears from my check so that I can pay less through the bankruptcy per month, yet cover the entire balance in 5 years due to turning over my tax returns?



Expert:  cfortunato replied 4 years ago.
That is correct.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Other.
The answer provided by the expert does not match what I have found online in other places.
Expert:  cfortunato replied 4 years ago.

If the garnishment had not already been in place, it would be allowed to spread out the arrears payment over the Chapter 13 plan period (up to 5 years).
This cannot be done once a domestic support garnishment - which is not affected by a Bankruptcy - is already in place.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Second opinion.

Is there anything else I can do? I am left in the negative each month by this. They are garnishing way too much.

Expert:  cfortunato replied 4 years ago.
I think your main hope lies with appealing the child support order.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

...and I am assuming that is something I do through the Family Court, correct? I petition them and hope for the best?



Expert:  cfortunato replied 4 years ago.
I am not an expert in Family Law. We do have a Family Law section where you can ask about appealing a child support order.

But before you do, please don't forget to provide a positive rating for my help.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK. I am paying the arrears to the Child Support Enforcement Bureau. That doesn't change anything, right?


OK. Off to rate than Family Law then.


Kindly reply.

Expert:  cfortunato replied 4 years ago.

As far as I know, all child support garnishment in NY is handled by the Child Support Enforcement Bureau. So, unfortunately, that fact does not make change anything.