Bankruptcy mayhem leaves Vicksburg couple desperate for answers

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VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – Filing for bankruptcy can be an extremely stressful time for anyone especially if you feel lost on how to pay back creditors in your plan.

One Vicksburg couple finds themselves right in this spot and 12 News Alex Love spoke to them and their former attorney, he joins us in the studio with what they’re going through and how bankruptcy cases work.

Back in 2017, Wanda and Marvin Houston filed what’s called Chapter 13 bankruptcy giving them up to five years to pay back their debt on a plan. But now sit in a bigger mess with money missing.

After paying for a major plumbing issue, the Houston’s found themselves in a deep hole forced to file a bankruptcy plan by getting the husband’s employer to send funds from his paycheck to the trustee’s office to pay creditors.

“About May of 2018 we received a letter from the trustee’s office stating that we were $5,060 delinquent,” Wanda said. “We were trying to figure out how that could come about because it was showing the money was being taken from his income every week as court-ordered.”

For years Wanda’s husband Marvin worked for J. Logging company who couldn’t provide the receipts of his checks going to creditors. When the company closed down, they were left to pay their own plans without a stable income.

“We didn’t have a reason to expect anything beforehand because it was showing on the check stubs where the money was being taken out,” Houston stated. “Eventually I got the money from her, got money orders and sent those in to cover for that payment. Two weeks later the same thing happened again.”

With multiple payments somehow not making it to creditors and the bankruptcy plan not kept up the Huston’s case was dismissed.

“There was some understanding that perhaps we dismissed the case as their attorneys, but absolutely not,” Attorney Bradford Bonds told us. “The trustee moved to dismiss the case because the money wasn’t coming in as per the plan. And the court granted the trustees motion.”

“Based on the information that we were able to gather it certainly appeared that Mr. and Mrs. Houston had a feasible plan that they could pursue,” Attorney Ed Woods explained.

In all the Houston’s say, they put $36,000 into paying back creditors including an $18,000 settlement from a car accident but still receive late payment notices.

“They’re telling me that I have to check with my legal counsel,” Wanda said. “My legal counsel is telling me that I have to check with the trustee’s office. And I still don’t know anything about the money.”

“The trustees have a duty they have to render accounting back to accounting for all the money they receive overseen by the judge,” Woods responded.

While the Houstons believe to be miss represented Attorney Woods and his partners found no wrongdoings on their part assisting their case and welcome them back to the firm to file a new case and make a new debt payment plan.

attorney woods and his team also pointed out missed payments in a second case can lead to a quicker case dismissal than the first one. The Houston’s say because of that they’re now fighting to keep their home after losing their car.

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