03 Oct Chapter 13 Trustees Sink to New Level of Absurdity
I have been practicing consumer bankruptcy law in the Atlanta area for over 20 years and I thought I had seen everything. In a recent Chapter 13 case, one of the Northern District of Georgia trustees objected to a $15 per month recreation expense in my client’s budget “thereby preventing the contribution of all monthly disposable income” to the plan.
The same trustee objected to a $480 per month food allocation and a $140 per month clothing allocation even though the IRS standard permits $514 per month for food and $141 per month for clothing respectively.
So, it would appear that our trustee wants this Chapter 13 debtor to forego any entertainment for the next five years and to spend less on food and clothing than the IRS would permit a delinquent taxpayer who has negotiated a repayment deal with the government.
If it wasn’t such a waste of time, I would be tempted to argue the $15 budget allocation to the judge – hopefully he would have a modicum of common sense that appears to be in extremely short supply at the trustee’s office.
Unfortunately Chapter 13 has been reduced to this, at least in the office of one of the Chapter 13 trustees in the Northern District of Georgia. Yes, you can still get your fresh start but not without losing a corresponding pound of flesh.
by Jonathan Ginsberg, Atlanta bankruptcy attorney
Jonathan Ginsberg, Esq.
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