In the past, overseas bankrupts’ budgets have usually been accepted at face value, unless there is something obvious, like $100 per week for entertainment. Recently, a harder line has been adopted. We are now finding that the OA routinely issues demands even if it is clear that the person has zero money to pay it. The onus is placed on the bankrupt to explain why they cannot afford the amount requested. In most cases, the OA is negotiable if you can go back with reasons why you cannot afford the contributions requested. In some cases the issue can be postponed and revisited at a future date, with nothing being paid in the meantime.
In other cases, we have had clients with exceptionally high, genuine, costs. When their costs were compared to the norm those costs were disallowed, however, an explanation and/or proof can make all the difference. Examples include clients with high food costs because they are gluten intolerant, high medical costs because of ongoing health issues, or high car payments where selling the car would have caused a shortfall that still needed to be paid plus a need for funds to buy a new car. The point is, that if you really cannot afford the amount demanded, that submissions need to be made and negotiations entered into. In the car scenario, the OA believed that the bankrupt would have more money if the car was sold, but we were able to demonstrate that doing so would genuinely increase costs as there would have been a shortfall on sale. If submissions are reasonable, and in good faith, they will probably be accepted.
Do not do nothing or respond in an arrogant manner. If you simply do not pay, the worst case scenario can include criminal charges, having your bankruptcy extended beyond three years, or being summoned to a meeting.
If unreasonable contributions have been requested of you we can help.