Chapter 13 Case #11BXXXXX was signed on by me on 8/8/11. I signed for $1109 per month, which has been a struggle for the past 24+ months. Recently I was notified that I owed over $4000 in past due pymts. A court date was set for 9/10/13. I asked to be in court as I know I signed for $1109 but was talked out of it. I assured him I have everything that I signed. The letter I received alleged I signed for $1845 for 5 yrs. I did not! I would have to become homeless in order to pay that. I would NEVER knowingly agree to something I couldn't handle! No responsible entity would wait over 2 yrs. to tell someone they are paying $736/mo. too little! The Sr. Atty said he would be going for a continuance date on 9/10/13 and there was no reason for me to come. I complained to him constantly about the fact that I sent their office all increases in medical obligations and in my mortgage to Atty **** ****** and nothing was done on my behalf. I received a bunch of false promises. The Sr. Atty,******* **** asked that I trust him and give him a chance. He said that Atty **** ****** was no longer with them. I did trust him and now my case has been dismissed and I am even more stressed out! From day 1 the case was botched. I told the Sr. Atty in the interview of all the extreme medical bills including my upcoming shoulder surgery 8/29/11. After that, I had to undergo physical therapy for 9.5 months straight-3 days per week. The therapy, medication and transportation was very costly! I forwarded all documents to them in early 2012 when my mortgage increased by $150 monthly as well as the unanticipated medical bills. I was told, "we can go to court to modify the plan." Well, it has not happenened 27 months later. Once I received the letter stating my case was dismissed, I repeatedly called Billbusters trying to find the Sr. Atty whom I trusted and was always told he was in a meeting or in court. Then, I started asking for ******* ****** (the owner). He was always said to be in a meeting. I did not let up! One day I was finally allowed to speak to ****** ****, the Sr. Atty. He promised to go to court and try to modify my plan. He told me not to make another payment until I heard from him. He said he needed some check stubs, and I sent them to him right away. I told him that they were not accurate as the overtime hours stopped. He told me to send him a couple of future stubs when they become available. Meanwhile, there was a government shutdown (I am a Federal employee). Everyone knows that there was no pay during the shutdown. I had to go to work everyday in hopes that the Congress would pass legislation to pay me eventually. Noone in America should have missed that! Apparently my representatives did as my case was dismissed shortly thereafter. If it was because I did not send additional stubs to him, there were none! After the dismissal and once I was "allowed" to speak to him, I immediately faxed stubs to him and expained to him about the shutdown. Meanwhile, what responsible firm would ruin a client's case when they can call or have someone call me at one of the 3 telephone numbers they have on file? They have called and reached me before with my problem. This whole thing seems like a scam to me! He/they saw that the original atty assigned messed up my case and I suppose they are covering for him. Hopefully, I am wrong and this will be rectified. I was optimistic because I had an "in-person" meeting set up with Atty. **** on November 15th. Someone named ********* called and cancelled that and assured me that after his "341" meetings he would definitely call me. 1 week has passed! The creditors are calling me again. Collections is sending harrassing mail. Attorneys are soliciting my business. I paid in good faith for services from a "reputable" firm. That is what I am still expecting or a refund. I have asked to see how my money was dispursed so far to no avail. I am sure they have taken theirs first. Help me! This is serious!
The cash settlement I am seeking would cover all of my money that they have taken for themselves and the trustee! I am not keen on starting another 5-yr plan as this has been a horrible 27 months. 7 years would be devestating! They should be able to go back and correct the $1109 to a lesser amount as they are the ones who mishandled my case. Or, the next 3 yrs should be such that I can live with the ability to pay my mortgage, heat, gas, lights, maintain my almost 10-yr old car, maintain my 29-yr old and have money for medical treatment and necessities. I cannot pay another firm to properly handle what they were paid to do.
In response to Ms. ******* ******* complaint, I offer the following:
On or about August 1, 2011, Ms. ***** visited our satellite office to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy on her behalf.
On August 8, 2011, we filed a Chapter 13 petition for relief Case Number: 13 B XXXXX. Ms. ***** had what is known as a "step-plan" in her bankruptcy case. It is called this because at a fixed point in time, her payment increases due to circumstances outside of the case. In her specific circumstance, Ms. ***** was repaying a loan, and once those payments were complete, the money she was using to repay that loan then needed to pay towards the balance of her debt. Her plan called for payments of $1,109.00 per month for 20 months and $1,845.00 for the remainder of the plan.
On September 4, 2013, Ms. *****' case was up for dismissal. Attorney **** left a message for Ms. ***** to inform her of the status of her case.
On September 5, 2013, Attorney **** was informed by Ms. ***** that she could no longer afford the payment. Attorney **** informed the client to send in an updated financial record as evidence for a motion to modify her plan.
On September 10, 2013, the matter was continued so that Attorney **** could review the Debtor's paystubs which were faxed to him at the last minute. After review of the paystubs, Ms. ***** income proved to be more then sufficient to maintain her current payments, but Ms. ***** disagreed.
On September 23, 2013 Ms. ***** indicated that she would send in other updated paystubs showing further decline of income. Ms. ***** also requested a copy of the payout information from the Trustee at this time, this was emailed to her the same day without delay..
On October 8, 2013, the matter was up in court, but continued.
On October 29, 2013, the matter was up in court but again, no updated stubs had been received. Subsequently this matter was then dismissed notice was sent to the Debtor of the Dismissal.
On November 6, 2013, Ms. ***** contacted the office irate about her dismissal, accusing the firm that it was their fault the payments been missed. Attorney **** advised that he could vacate the dismissal order and have her case reinstated if she delivered the missing paystubs. Those stubs were faxed in on November 7, 2013.
On November 7, 2013, Attorney **** reviewed the paycheck stubs whicht again showed that modification to a lower payment was indeed impossible due to the amount of income Ms. ***** was earning. Ms. ***** was advised of her options, of which were to move forward with a higher payment, or to start over at a lower payment. Ms. ***** did not agree with these options, and wanted to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy instead. She advised her expenses had risen and she had "gotten used to a certain lifestyle".
On November 8, 2012, Ms. ***** faxed the necessary documents whereupon Attorney **** reviewed to see if a Chapter 7 was an option, and due to the very high income of the Ms. *****, it was not. Attorney **** informed Ms. ***** of this at which point she wanted to see again how her money had been applied in the Chapter 13 case and believed that our firm had neglected the case.
On November 15, 2013, Attorney **** set an appointment for Ms. ***** to come into the office to review everything face to face at 11:00a.m. Ms. ***** advised she would be taking an extended lunch to be able to make the meeting. Attorney **** was attending a 341 meeting for another client at 10:00am and was running late. He called the office to his if the office assistant could set a rescheduled date for Ms. *****. Ms. ***** refused to reschedule at that time and asked that she just be called back at a later date. Attorney **** has spent the majority of the week outside of the office in court and at creditors meetings and was unable to contact Ms. ***** again at this time. The representation of Ms. ***** did in fact cease with the dismissal of her case, and Attorney **** was forced to focus his attention on the clients of the firm.
Attorney **** was more than willing to work with Ms. *****, but it now appears that is no longer the case for Ms. *****. Ms. ***** was represented by this law firm for over two years, the firm's fees were granted by the Judge in her matter, and no refund is warranted.
Very truly yours,
******* ** ******, ***
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The majority of the response is not true. But, I am trying to get the case continued and have been talking to ******* ******, as his Sr. Atty is not talking to me at all.