GRAND RAPIDS BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY – CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY
When you are facing financial problems and have questions about your bankruptcy options and the difference between Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 in the Grand Rapids area, it is important to have the representation of a good bankruptcy attorney. Krupp Law Offices P.C. has been providing quality bankruptcy representation for over 85 years. If you are facing financial problems or have questions about bankruptcy and which chapter of bankruptcy is best for you, call the bankruptcy attorneys at Krupp Law Offices P.C. for a free phone consultation. During your phone consultation, our attorneys will provide you with immediate answers to your questions and schedule an appointment with one of our bankruptcy attorneys. Call Krupp Law Offices P.C. at 616-459-6636.
CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY - COMMON QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. WHAT IS THE CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY PROCESS?
A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is started by the filing of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. The petition contains basic financial information about you including a list of your assets, a list of your debts, a budget and other basic information. Additionally, we prepare a “plan” which tells the Court how you are going pay your bills over the next 36-60 months.
Once your schedules and plan are filed with the Court you will receive a letter from our office where payments need to be made.
The Court will mail notices to all of your creditors informing them that you have filed bankruptcy.
Approximately 7days later you will receive a letter indicating your case number, the trustee, the amount of the payment consistent with your plan and the P.O. Box number where the payment needs to be mailed. Approximately three weeks later you will receive a letter when your 341 meeting has been scheduled. This is a meeting with the bankruptcy Trustee who reviews your schedules and plan to confirm that you comply with the bankruptcy code. The 341 meeting is not adversarial. There is no judge present. Typically, the only people who are present at your 341 meeting are the Trustee, your attorney, yourself, and possibly creditors. Creditors do not usually attend these meetings. Your case will be scheduled for a particular hour ( i.e. 10:00 am), but they typically only take about 10 minutes.
After your 341 meeting, your Trustee may indicate changes that need to be made to your plan or schedules. We will complete those changes and file them with the Court. At that point your case will be scheduled for confirmation. Once your plan is confirmed, you will have an obligation to continue to make payments on a regular basis consistent with your plan. You will also be required to provide the trustee with any tax refund money (disposable income) that you have during the term of your plan.
2. WHAT IS A 341 MEETING? WHAT WILL I NEED TO BRING?
A 341meeting is a meeting with the Trustee to review your schedules. The 341 meeting is held at the Trustee’s offices and not the courthouse. A judge will not be present.
Typically, the Trustee will want you to provide him with copies of your three most recent pay stubs, titles to cars, boats, or recreational vehicles, proof of insurance for any vehicles, copies of deeds for real property and copy of your filed mortgage (a filed mortgage can be obtained from the Register of Deeds from the county in which you reside. The Trustee will only need to see the front sheet indicating a “Page and Liber” number). Additionally, you will need to bring your driver’s licence and social security card to verify your identity. In the event that the Trustee needs additional information, you will provide it to our office and we will forward it to the Trustee.
3. HOW LONG WILL MY PLAN TAKE?
A Chapter 13 plan must last a minimum of 36 months and no longer than 60 months. In the event that you are paying your creditors 100%, then you can complete your plan earlier than 36 months.
4. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF A CREDITOR CONTACTS ME?
Upon filing a case, our office will provide you with the name of your judge and your case number. In the event that a creditor contacts you, provide them with that information. They should immediately stop contacting you. If a creditor contacts you by mail, send them a copy of your 341 meeting notice along with the bill.
If problems continue, contact your attorney with the phone number and address of the creditor involved.
5. WHAT CREDITORS SHOULD BE LISTED, WHAT IF I FORGET A CREDITOR?
Under the bankruptcy code, you must make your best efforts to determine your creditors. All of your creditors should be listed. If you are unable to determine all of your creditors, we strongly suggest that you obtain a credit report from either TRW or Merchant Service Bureau (616-940-7100) Additionally, you may be able to obtain your free credit report on the Internet at www.annualcreditreport.com.
There is a period of time for your creditors to file a claim with your Chapter 13 plan. If they fail to file a claim then they will be discharged in whole.
6. CAN I PAY MY DEBTS AT A LATER DATE IN FULL?
By filing bankruptcy, you prevent the creditor from pursuing you for the debt. It does not prevent you from paying the debt back at a later date when or if you are financially able to do so. (i.e. winning the lottery).
7. HOW WILL I KNOW MY DEBTS ARE DISCHARGED AND MY PLAN IS COMPLETE?
On a quarterly basis you will receive a statement from the Trustee’s office indicating the progress through the plan. Upon the completion of your plan, they will perform an audit and issue a discharge indicating that all your debts are discharged regardless of the percentage of the plan.
8. WILL I GO TO COURT OR SEE A JUDGE?
Typically you will neither go to Court nor see a Judge as part of your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. In the event that there is a Court hearing scheduled, please make sure to call our office one day prior to your hearing to confirm that you will need to be in Court and the location of the Court.
9. WHAT DO I DO IF I RECEIVE A MOTION TO DISMISS MY CASE BY THE CHAPTER TRUSTEE?
Occasionally, if you miss payments or fail to provide the Trustee with necessary information including tax refunds, the Trustee will file a motion to dismiss your case for failing to comply with your plan. In the event that you receive one of these notices, please contact my office immediately so that we can cure the problem.
10. WHAT IF I CANNOT MAKE THE PLAN PAYMENTS?
In the event that you are unable to make payments to the plan because of unemployment or any other reason, there are a number of different options. First of all you may convert your chapter 13 to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Secondly, we may be able to modify he terms of your plan so that you can stay in your plan. Thirdly, if you can catch up with the payments at a later date, the Trustee will more than likely allow you to do that.
11. CAN I BUY OR SELL PROPERTY OR AUTOMOBILES DURING MY PLAN?
In the event that you wish to buy or sell real estate or a vehicle you will more than likely need the permission of the Court. If you are purchasing a vehicle for cash or selling a vehicle where there is no lien or debt due and owing for under $1,000 you do not need to contact your attorney. In the event that you are buying or selling a home or other real estate you must have permission from the Court.
12. WHAT IF I HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS?
In the event that you have further questions, please contact your attorney, they will be more than happy to answer them for you.
13. DO I GET TO KEEP MY TAX REFUNDS?
No, during your plan you must provide the trustee with a copy of your tax returns (both state and federal) and your refund money because it is disposable income.
GRAND RAPIDS MICHIGAN BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY
If you are facing financial problems, a good bankruptcy attorney is not optional, it is a requirement! Our bankruptcy attorneys can answer your questions with straight talk. Having the right bankruptcy attorney on your side can relieve your stress during difficult financial times. Our bankruptcy attorneys have over 85 years of bankruptcy experience. We can provide you with excellent bankruptcy representation.
Krupp Law Offices P.C. is located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan and has the right bankruptcy attorney for you. We represent clients in all bankruptcy matters throughout West Michigan, including the cities of Grand Rapids, Holland, and Grand Haven, and the counties of Kent, Ottawa, Allegan, Barry, Newaygo, Montcalm, Muskegon, and Ionia.
Our office can help.
KRUPP LAW OFFICES P.C.
161 Ottawa NW Suite 201
Grand Rapids MI 49503