When is my first plan payment due?
Your first plan payment is required by law to be due 30 days from the day your bankruptcy is filed.
How much will my plan payment be?
For most clients that are living paycheck to paycheck the plan payment will be based on the amount required to pay the arrears on their home and vehicles over the life of the plan. We will take that amount and add in the required trustee’s fees etc. and divide that by the number of months in your plan (usually 36). Back taxes and child support arrears are generally not dischargeable and so the total of these debts will be paid out over the life of the plan as well. So, basically your plan payment will be the total of the debts to be paid divided by 36.
How does Chapter 13 help me if I am behind on my mortgage?
Chapter 13 will stop foreclosure and force the lender to accept a repayment plan so you can get caught up on your mortgage. For example, if you are behind five payments and normally pay $600.00 per month, the Chapter 13 will allow you to pay the amount you are behind out over 3-5 years and beginning the month after you file you will make your regular mortgage payment as if you are current. In other words, you would pay $600.00 per month house payment plus the Chapter 13 plan payment each month. Chapter 13 does not change the regular monthly mortgage amount; it just allows you to get caught up over several years while you continue to make your monthly house payments.
Is the plan payment set in stone?
No. The first plan filed with the Court is a preliminary plan based on your estimates of how much you are behind on your secured debts, taxes and child support. However, once the case is filed your creditors will file proof of claims telling the Court how much you owe them. Claims that are filed in the first couple of months will be corrected in your plan, so you payment may go up or down a few months after the case is filed. Then about six months after the case is filed the Trustee will review all the filed claims and file a Trustees Recommendation Concerning Claims and make final adjustments to your plan payment.
Where do I send my plan payment?
You will send your payment to:
Standing Chapter 13 Trustee
PO Box 94210
Lubbock, Texas 79493-4210
You must send in the first two payments yourself since a wage order will not be in place for a few months.
It is very important that you send the payment via regular first class mail and not certified, return receipt requested, priority or anything other than a simple one ounce stamp because there is no one at the lock box to sign for the mail. Also remember to put your case number and name on the cashier's check or money order, and make it payable to Robert Wilson, Standing Chapter 13 Trustee.
You must pay by cashier's check or money order. Do not purchase one from the post office, western union or any place other than your local bank or credit union because money orders purchased from other places are very difficult and expensive to trace.
Am I required to have my plan payment deducted by my employer from my paycheck?
Yes. All Debtors are required to sign the wage order to make sure debtors fulfill their obligations to make the plan payments each month. You will send in the first two payments yourself, and then after that the wage order should be in place.
How do I check to see if the Trustee received my payment or other details about my case?
You can go to www.13network.com You can see the date and amount of each payment received and the status of all the claims.
What Happens at the Creditor Meeting?
Click on the following 341 link for more information
Can I change my mind and surrender a home or vehicle after my case has been filed for a while?
Usually the answer is yes. If things change after the case is started you need to contact us right away to discuss the situation. It is very common for a debtor to realize that a vehicle or home is too expensive to keep, or all the sacrifice to pay arrears is no longer worth the effort and decide to surrender their property. Usually, we can amend your plan to take care of this and reduce your monthly expenses and plan payments. However, if you do not talk to us we can’t help you.
What do I do if I lose my job?
Call us right away to discuss your options.
What happens if I get behind on my plan payments?
After a while the Trustee is required to file a motion to dismiss your case. When this happens you need to call us. Often we can work something out with the Trustee to keep your case going. However, if we don’t hear from you, we can't help you - so call.
What happens if I get behind on my house or car payments while in bankruptcy?
The creditor will file a motion to lift the automatic stay so they can foreclose on the property. The reality is that they probably don’t want the property back, so we can usually work something out with them to get you caught up. If you do get behind you should call us right away.
What happens after I make my last plan payment to the Trustee?
You should email our office and let us know. The Trustee's office will then file a notice with the Court and our office will send you a Motion for Discharge. You and your spouse must sign the motion and return it to us right away because the motion must be filed with the Court within 15 days to prevent your case from being closed without the discharge being granted. If you return the motion we can file it with the Court and then have the discharge order signed by the Court at a hearing a month or so later. Usually, Debtors do not have to go to this hearing, but your should call us to verify your case is set. Remember, the whole reason you hired us was to get the discharge order so it is very important that you make sure all the steps to get the motion for discharge are followed.