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We are in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Can’t Afford the Payments Anymore – Alexandra

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

My husband and I are currently in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy (one year in). The attorney we got basically aimed to do things quick and easy and our payment is honestly killing us. I’ve had to stop re-filling my epilepsy medication because I can’t afford it! My husband has suffered health issues the past few weeks, and this morning, he had to tender his resignation so we are now severely depleted financially. We also support my elderly mother.

I emailed the bankruptcy attorney and received no response. We don’t have enough with my pay to make the trustee payment and living expenses. I’m seriously wondering whether we should consider debt negotiation? At this point, I’m terrified and desperate. Thank you in advance!



Dear Alexandra,

I discussed your situation with Chad Van Horn. Chad is a bankruptcy attorney in Florida.

Chad suggested, “Find a new attorney and look at modifying the plan using the Supreme Court case of “Lanning” as a justification. Alternatively, if you dismiss you could negotiate and creditors on average will accept 40-60%. You really need to get a second opinion on your exact circumstance. The most important aspects of your case you should review is your liquidation analysis (assets-exemptions) and your disposable income based on the CMI. Those tests will determine how much you should be paying in your Chapter 13.”

Of course you would need to speak with a bankruptcy attorney who is licensed in whatever state you live in for legal advice.

The tough spot here is if your current bankruptcy attorney is being unresponsive, then there really isn’t any good solution you can embark on yourself.

The issue isn’t leaping to debt negotiation as a solution at first but how to unwind what you are currently in. It might very well be that with the current change of income, you can qualify for a conversion of your case to a chapter 7 bankruptcy and just be down with it.

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Find a local bankruptcy attorney ASAP to discuss this situation with and then embark on a solution. One way or another you will have to deal with a Chapter 13 you can no longer afford. And the reality is a substantial number of Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases do convert into Chapter 7 at some point.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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