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Roger
Roger, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 31737
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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If the spouse making the majority of the income got off

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If the spouse making the majority of the income got laid off and her last day is November 23rd, what would be the best course of action for filing Chapter 7?

The couple in question made way too much over the last six months... would they need to wait to qualify under the means test before the husband filed Chapter 7, or could he file Chapter 13 and convert it into Chapter 7 once they qualified via income?

Based on their average monthly income, it would take about 3 months of zero income from the wife for them to qualify under the means test, but in the interim, the husband has a house in foreclosure, an HOA suing him and an ex who is garnishing his wages from a $7000 loan that ballooned into a $31k final judgment ($17k is from attorney fees alone which seemed high in and of itself.)

Is Chapter 13 ---> Chapter 7 possible and like a Chapter, would the garnishment stop at all during the initial filing period? Meaning, could he buy himself 90 days by filing CHapter 13 to stay the wage garnishment allowing his income to dwindle and allowing him to qualify for Chapter 7.

Roger : Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Bankruptcy litigation attorney. Thanks for your question. I'll b e glad to assist.
Roger : Yes, it is possible to file chapter 13 and then file a motion to convert to a chapter 7 if a plan can't be confirmed/if there's a change in income.
Customer:

I realize this is involved, but as far as getting the garnishment to stop, would filing Chap 13 stay any collections until after he filed? Or would he be better suited waiting for income to dwindle and then just file chapter 7

Roger : The automatic stay applies to any chapter of bankruptcy, so it would stop any collection attempts - - including foreclosures and garnishments.
Customer:

Gotcha... how long would filing Chapter 13 buy him typically?

Roger : It should buy him at least 3 months; likely more.
Customer:

Ok. One last question. As a BK lawyer, is it common for someone to be in this position? IE: Filing Chapter 13, then qualify for Chapter 7 and 'changing' the type?

Customer:

Is it easy to do? I'm in Tampa, and I know most lawyers e-file

Roger : It's likely to file a chapter 13 and then to convert to a 7 because the debtor cannot get a plan confirmed or cannot afford the plan.
Customer:

But knowing that his wife lost her job and will soon qualify for Chapter 7 under the means test for this area - would not preclude him from switching to chapter 7?

Roger : It should not.
Customer:

thank you.

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