Let’s look at the expenses in a bankruptcy case so that we can give the best bankruptcy news as to filing. Again, we are talking about a Chapter 7 here so even if somebody doesn’t intend to keep certain property like if they say they’re going to give up the house or they say they’re going to give up the car, still put the dollar amount that they are required to pay per contract. We don’t want there to be a surplus here for Chapter 7 because if there is a surplus, guess what, they can do a 13. That is the whole point of the 13; you’ve got available money per month? Then you want to repay all or a portion of your debt. So you are not going to do the math formerly while you are meeting with the folks. But you can certainly run down and do like the eye scan and just get a general idea.
We have to list the expense with reference to rent or mortgage. If they own property, is the property tax included in the mortgage or not? If not, we have to know what it is. So you have to have the calculator with you because property taxes are paid every six months so it’s got to be divided by six. Where some of them will say I know its $6000 a year. They will start throwing that out a lot here. I pay this much per quarter, everything has to be monthly. Since everything is monthly, we want everything in bankruptcy basics to be monthly.
Let’s move on to the food expenses. We usually estimate $400-$500 per month. You can’t go crazy with the food. If someone is paying child support or if they owe child support, we need to notify the person they owe under law. So, that’s where this section would be. So are they current or are they behind and then who is it and where do they live? Don’t get bogged down in it. That’s an indication that we need something better. Something needs to be done or we need information. So the guy might know that it’s Christine Smith, but he’s not sure where she is living. We will get that later, no problem. That is part of our job as a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney. We gather the information, compile it in a bankruptcy petition and ensure that it is filed correctly with your clerk of the court.