CHAPTER 13 CASE FAQ
Filing Chapter 13 can be scary. Sometimes, the scariest part is just fear of the unknown. This FAQ is designed to answer the most common questions for new Chapter 13 debtors.
WHAT IS MY CASE NUMBER?
Your case number is assigned after your petition is filed with the court. You may not know the case number when you sign the petition, however, it will be mailed to you in the next 7 to 10 days. If you need the case number immediately in order to prevent a repossession, foreclosure or to give to bill collectors you will need to contact or office immediately.
WHEN IS MY COURT DATE?
Your court date will be approximately 30 days from the date of filing. You will receive notice from the court and our office of the actual court date.
IS MY PROPERTY PROTECTED EVEN THOUGH I HAVEN’T WENT TO COURT YET? Yes. Your property is protected as of the date of filing.
WILL MY CREDITORS CONTINUE TO CALL UNTIL I GO TO COURT?
The creditors are notified by mail after you file so there is a great possibility they may contact you because they don’t know about the bankruptcy yet. All you need to do is give them your case number and my phone number. If you continue to be harassed by a creditor after advising them of the bankruptcy, contact me immediately.
WHAT IF I GET BILLS IN THE MAIL AFTER I FILE?
If the bills were listed in the petition, mail the bills to us so that we can contact the creditor on your behalf. If the bills WERE NOT listed in the petition you will have to pay additional fees to add the creditors.
WHAT IF I FORGOT TO LIST SOME CREDITORS?
If the debt existed on the day of filing, we can add the creditors by amendment. If the debt was created after the filing of the bankruptcy we cannot add them because you are prohibited from getting new debt. The exception to that is certain taxes in which the taxing authority may agree to participate. To add bills by amendment you will have to pay additional fees.
DO I CONTINUE TO PAY MY CREDITORS?
Each Chapter 13 case is different. Your Chapter 13 plan will designate which creditors are to be paid direct and which cases are included in the Chapter 13 plan.
WHAT ARE MY INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS WHILE IN CHAPTER 13?
You will be required to keep all financed property fully insured while you are in the Chapter 13. Vehicle insurance must list the creditor as lienholder and must be a policy period longer than 3 months. REMEMBER: your vehicle can be repossessed even if it is in the bankruptcy if the creditor learns the vehicle is uninsured.
DO THE CHAPTER 13 PAYMENTS HAVE TO COME OUT OF MY PAYCHECK? Yes. The only exception is for self-employed debtors or debtors with government income.
WHAT IF I CHANGE JOBS?
No problem. Get us the address of the payroll office for your new employer and we will start the wage order there.
DO I HAVE TO MAKE THE PAYMENTS UNTIL THE WAGE ORDER STARTS WORKING? Absolutely. You are responsible for your payments directly if your wage order hasn’t started yet or if it has stopped for some reason. Your case can be dismissed if you do not make payments. A good rule of thumb is: if it is not coming out of your check MAKE IT YOURSELF!
WILL I BE NOTIFIED ABOUT THE DATE AND TIME OF MY FIRST COURT HEARING? Of course! We will notify you by mail at the address listed on the petition.
WHAT IF I HAVE A CONFLICT WITH THE COURT DATE?
Generally speaking you will have to resolve the conflict so that you can appear in court. If you cannot resolve the conflict we can ask to continue it one time. If you don’t appear at the continued court hearing your case will may be dismissed.
WHAT WILL THEY ASK ME IN COURT?
The Chapter 13 Trustee will ask you questions based upon the information you listed on your bankruptcy petition. In fact, a lot of the questions you will be asked you have already been asked by me.
WILL THERE BE OTHER COURT HEARINGS?
Possibly. You will receive a notice about each and every court hearing at the address you have given me. Most of the time you do not need to appear. Call me when you get a hearing notice to know whether you need to appear.
I GOT A LETTER FROM MY MORTGAGE COMPANY THAT SAYS I DON’T OWE MY MORTGAGE PAYMENT. IS THIS CORRECT? No!! After receiving the bankruptcy notification, some mortgage companies will send you a letter saying you have a zero balance or that there is no payment due. DON’T STOP MAKING YOUR MORTGAGE PAYMENTS IF YOU RECEIVE A LETTER LIKE THIS. Continue to make your mortgage payments or you may lose your property! The only exception would be if your Chapter 13 plan is paying your mortgage payment. When in doubt CALL ME!
MY CREDIT UNION IS STILL TAKING MY CAR PAYMENT FROM MY CHECK. THE GARNISHMENT IS STILL COMING OUT OF MY CHECK. You must stop Credit Union allotments by contacting the credit union directly. Garnishments are stopped by the creditor. If either the allotments or garnishments do not stop, bring in all your paystubs so that we can request a refund of the money.