Pro se filings are the largest filer. How many of those have parking tickets or city of Chicago debt is speculative. What we do know is that of the 1904 Chapter 13’s filed in February 2016, 642 or 34% are were dismissed by August, six months later. We also know that 89% of those filed without attorneys, pro se, were dismissed within that time 35% of the largest filers were dismissed within that time and of the other filers, between 30 and 88% were dismissed within that time. Only 12% of Geraci Law 13’s were dismissed within that time, the lowest in the District except for one other filer who does not file very many.
We do not know what percentage of pro se had a parking ticket problem, but we do know that a significant percentage of Chapter 13’s that are filed with firms other than Geraci Law are rapidly dismissed. We also know that filing a pro se case, a Chapter 13 at least, is totally useless, clogs up the system, but is encouraged by the courts with their “filing fee in installment” rule. 88% dismissed in six months is simply lawsuit abuse, and this could easily be remedied by a change the rule to permit no filing unless the filing fee was tendered. Anyone that does not have $310 should not be filing a debt repayment plan. This is also a problem in Wisconsin, but less of a problem where the courts don’t seem to be as amused by pro se filings, but it is a growing problem in Indianapolis in and Merrillville. Often it is caused by petition preparers who are basically stealing from the debtors, and actually been encouraged to do this by the bench and the US trustee since there is almost no enforcement except the occasional example that make out of them.
If the premise of some is that there are too many Chapter 13’s filed in the Northern District of Illinois, they are partially right. They are partially wrong because there are too many bogus Chapter 13’s filed in the Northern District of Illinois, when you add up the pro se in the amount of 13’s that are dismissed within six months. Those 13’s are not returning any money to creditors and are burdening the system. My feeling is they are just not well thought out and they are proposed for purposes of delay and are dismissed before confirmation.
Now, my premise is that there are not enough good Chapter 13’s filed, ones that are valuable and well thought out and that the debtor filing such a plan sees value in. The city of Chicago should give my card to every person who is working full time and has debt other than parking tickets, because these people generally have some ability to pay some debt ranging from 10% to 100%. They just do not have the ability to come up with $5000 or $10,000, or even $2000, their vehicle it has been booted or worse yet impounded and will be sold at auction or crunched within 21 days, and as far as Geraci Law is concerned 88% of these cases the Geraci Law takes are confirmed and start repaying money to creditors.