LSA Prevents Disabled Veteran from becoming Homeless when Veteran could not afford a Private Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney

By Wilson Webb

On the very first day of my second LSA career, my Managing Attorney asked me to look at a file for a client trying to save his home. The client was a disabled veteran, who had fallen on hard times. The client’s previous Chapter 13 bankruptcy case had been dismissed because the client could not afford both the monthly payment on his mobile home, and the required payment in Chapter 13 to “cure” the arrears. 

My manager was deeply concerned that this was a case where we could not help the client, since his previous bankruptcy case had been dismissed.  This put me to work instantly. I knew from my prior experience in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, that because a mobile home is normally “personal property” (as opposed to a home built on a lot or “real property”), the client only needed to pay the current value of the mobile home through the bankruptcy court and could do so at a greatly reduced interest rate.

In our client’s case, the payoff of the loan was approximately $25,000, with an interest rate of 15.54 percent.  I looked up the value of the home in the NADA guide for mobile homes, and determined the home was only valued at about $15,000. I visited the client at his home, took pictures, and got his signature on the new Chapter 13 paperwork.  After filing his new case, I filed a Motion to Value with the NADA value, the client’s affidavit, and the pictures attached. The motion was granted without objection from the lender.

Over the next 44 months my client was allowed to purchase his home through the bankruptcy court for $15,808 at 5.25 percent. Remarkably, his Chapter 13 plan payment was just $40 above his previous “regular monthly payment,” and was completed substantially faster.  Recently, our client successfully paid out the plan, received a discharge of all other dischargeable debt; and then, best of all, received a clear title to his mobile home in the mail.  This was a great result for a very deserving client, and I was glad that LSA was there to help him when he needed it the most.

Wilson Webb, Staff Attorney in the Birmingham office, is also a member of LSA’s High Impact Litigation Unit.

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    LSA is a grantee of the Legal Services Corporation.