- I’m not sure what I should do?
IF IN DOUBT, CALL ME. If you ever have any doubt about what you are supposed to do while you are in the Chapter 13, please call me. Doing nothing or guessing could hurt you. You can call me 24/7. If I don’t pick up, I will call you back quickly.
- When is the Trustee payment due?
If you are not on a wage order to have your payment deducted from your employer, your first Trustee payment is due approximately three (3) weeks from the day of filing. The Trustee will send you a letter to give you the exact date. Below are the addresses on where to send the payment. If you do not get a letter from the Trustee within ten days of filing, go ahead and make the Chapter 13 Payment that we discussed. Please include your name as well as case number with the payment. Please note that I advise that you consent to a wager order. This will help your case go much smoother. If you are on a wager order, it is your responsibility to make sure the payments are being deducted and being deducted for the correct amount. Until they are, it is your responsibility to make the payment. Mailing Addresses for each Trustee are on our link page here.
- What do I do about my mortgage payments?
Many Chapter 13 Bankruptcy filers file because they are behind on their mortgage and they want to save their home. If you fall in this category, your Chapter 13 Plan that you reviewed with me will pay back your “arrearages” only in the plan. Most likely your post filing mortgage payment is due the following month. However, if your case is filed on the 16th of a month, the “resumption date” to begin making your mortgage payment is not due for 45 days. Please check with me if you are unsure or forgot when the resumption date is. If you are current with your mortgage, continue to make your mortgage payment as you always have. The mortgage payment is to be sent to the mortgage company. I recommend that you send your first three (3) payments certified.
- I lost my job, is there any help on my trustee payment?
This is a common question. If you run into problems while you are in the Chapter 13, please call me. Sometimes there are things I can do to help for a small time period if there is loss of employment or a medical issue. One type of motion that is available to Debtors is a Moratorium motion. This allows Debtors to file a request to postpone making their Trustee payment for 1-3 months. Please note that if the Court consents to allowing the moratorium, the Trustee will dismiss your case going forward if you fall behind on your payments.
- My car broke down and I need to finance another one. The lender says I need a letter from the court.
This is a common issue in Chapter 13 cases. You have been in your Chapter 13 plan for 3 years making your payment on time…then all of a sudden your car dies and you need a new car. The lender tells you that in order to obtain financing, you need this so called letter from the Trustee or Court. What does this mean and how would I obtain this letter?
First, it is not a letter you need- but a Court Order allowing you to obtain financing pursuant to your Chapter 13 Plan. The good news is I can usually get it for you after you give me some information: why you need to finance? What type of car? How much is being financed? What interest rate? How are you going to be able to afford a new payment? Second, I have to file a Motion to Incur Debt to obtain the court Order. It will take approximately 20 days to get this Order, so get me the information listed to me above asap.
- My case was dismissed what do I do?
If you ever receive documents from the Trustee or Court that deal with either a Motion to Dismiss or an Order Dismissing your case, call me asap!
Most likely if you receive a Motion from the Trustee dismissing your case, you will have an opportunity to make arrangements with the Trustee. Even if you make an arrangement with the Trustee, please call me and let me know.
If your case is dismissed, in many cases we can file a Motion to Reconsider to reinstate your case if this is your only Chapter 13 filing. Please note that this will require additional legal fees (I’ll work with you). Before the motion is filed, I will need to know if you will be able to bring your case current within 3-4 weeks when the hearing will be held. The Court normally grants Motions to Reconsider if four conditions are met : (1) you attend the hearing, (2) bring certified funds to the hearing to bring your case current. Please note that close is not good enough and your motion will be denied, (3) agree that if you case is ever dismissed again, you cannot ref-file Chapter 13 for a one year period.
- Can I sell my home or car during the bankruptcy? Are there any other restrictions?
No you cannot sell, transfer, or dispose of any property without first obtaining permission from the Court. Please call me and we can talk about this.
Other restrictions that require approval from the court:
You cannot refinance or obtain a loan modification from the court.
You cannot employee professionals without approval. This usually refers to hiring another attorney to represent you in another legal matter outside the bankruptcy.
You cannot incur any debt (financing) during your bankruptcy without court approval. Many times I can get your approval, so call me!
- Is there an accounting of my case? Can I follow the payments made?
Yes. You can go to 13network.com to follow your case. Simply go to the website, locate your Trustee, and apply for a log-in. Also, the Trustee will periodically send reports detailing everything about your case. If you have questions when you get it, call me.
- What if I need more information about the Chapter 13 process?
Then please schedule a consultation with me. I want you to be completely comfortable about your plan payment. The chapter 13 trustee also provides a book at the 341 hearing that includes a wealth of educational material about the chapter 13 process.
- Will my bank account be closed?
Generally no, unless you owe the bank money. It is always a good practice to have a bank account with a bank you don’t owe money to.
- Will I receive my tax refund while on bankruptcy?
Maybe. If you don’t owe the IRS any money prior to filing, you should receive the total refund. If you do owe them money, they may take it and reduce their claim to the Court.
- If my car is totaled or I give up a house does this automatically decrease my Chapter 13 payment?
The answer is no. However, there is a chance we can amend your schedules and Plan and motion to have a reduced payment.
- What if a creditor doesn’t file a claim…what should I do?
For unsecured creditors such as your creditor cards or medical debts- it doesn’t matter. For secured creditors being paid in your plan such as your mortgage or car lender, we want to make sure they are being paid. So if you receive any paperwork from the Trustee stating a secured creditor has not filed a claim, please call me so that we can file a claim for them.
- Do I have to maintain full insurance on my house, car and/or mobile home?
Yes, you must maintain complete insurance coverage. Failure to do so or any lapses could allow the creditor to file a motion in bankruptcy court allowing them to begin state court foreclosure or redemption.
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