In this article, you can discover:
- The primary role of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney.
- How Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be an effective defense against foreclosure, and why it's important to take action early with an attorney.
- The role of a Chapter 13 trustee.
What Roles Does A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Play?
The role of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney is to work closely with the client over a period of three to five years. The attorney's primary task is to gather information and use it to create a bankruptcy petition.
The goal is to make the Chapter 13 plan payment as low as possible while still ensuring that creditors are paid. An attorney's responsibilities include preparing paperwork, assisting the client through hearings, and ensuring that all eligible debts are discharged at the end of the case. Throughout the duration of the bankruptcy process, the attorney will work closely with the client to help them achieve the best possible outcome.
Is Bankruptcy An Effective Defense To Foreclosure?
Bankruptcy can be an effective defense against foreclosure, but taking action as soon as possible is essential. In Georgia, foreclosures occur on the first Tuesday of each month, and it is crucial to contact a bankruptcy attorney well before the Monday preceding the foreclosure date.
The attorney will need time to prepare the paperwork, and the individual will need to complete a credit counseling session, which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
It is important to contact an attorney as soon as the potential of filing for bankruptcy arises, as a lot happens behind the scenes in preparing for bankruptcy. It can be beneficial to set up an appointment, even if there is no obligation to proceed.
What Is A Chapter 13 Trustee?
The role of a Chapter 13 trustee is to evaluate and monitor cases over the course of the three to five years that the case is open. The trustee's primary responsibility is to collect payments from the debtor and disperse them to the creditors of the Chapter 13 client.
This can be done weekly, monthly, or on any other agreed-upon payment schedule. The trustee will closely monitor the case throughout the entire period to ensure that the debtor is adhering to the plan's terms and making payments as agreed upon.
What Debts Are Not Released By A Chapter 13 Discharge?
It is important to note that long-term debts, such as mortgages, are not released or discharged at the end of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. Once the plan is completed, the debtor will still be responsible for paying these debts.
Additionally, certain debts, such as those related to DUIs or criminal fines, may not be dischargeable in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Similarly, certain taxes may also not be dischargeable and may continue to be the responsibility of the debtor even after the completion of the bankruptcy plan. While Chapter 13 can provide relief for many tax issues, some may remain due to liens or other similar factors.
Must All My Unsecured Debt Be Treated Alike Under Chapter 13 Plan, Or Can More Be Paid On Some Than Others?
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, all classes of debts must be paid equally. This means that all secured creditors, such as those with a mortgage or car loan, must be paid according to a secured plan.
Similarly, all unsecured creditors, such as credit card companies, must also be paid equally within their respective classes. However, in some instances, it may be possible to classify certain debts differently to protect a co-signer, such as paying a credit card in full. However, generally, all classes of debt must be treated equally.
Is It Necessary For All Creditors To Approve A Chapter 13 Plan?
It is not necessary for all creditors to approve a Chapter 13 plan. If a creditor objects to the plan, the objection must be resolved before the plan can be approved. While this remains a possibility, most creditors do not object – and therefore approve the plan by not responding.
When Might A Chapter 7 Case Be Converted Into A Chapter 13?
There are certain circumstances that may arise during the course of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy that may require converting to a Chapter 13. This can happen in cases where the trustee discovers an undisclosed asset, or if the debtor loses their job and can no longer afford the payments under the Chapter 7 plan. It is important to address these changes in circumstances as quickly as possible to minimize any issues.
Similarly, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be converted to a Chapter 7 if certain changes occur during the course of the plan. This can occur if the debtor loses their job and can no longer fund the Chapter 13 plan, or if the debtor incurs additional debt, such as from a medical event. In these cases, the additional debt can be added to Chapter 7 and then discharged.
When Must The Payments To A Chapter 13 Trustee Begin And How Often And By Whom Must They Be Made?
Chapter 13 plan payments begin 30 days after the date of relief, and the date of the relief is the day the petition is filed. So, 30 days after filing your bankruptcy petition, your first chapter 13 payment is due. You can pay weekly, but that doesn't mean you start 30 days later. That means one month's payment has to be completed, and you'll start sending in your weekly payment the week after you file.
You have the option to have payments taken out of your paycheck, which is what our firm recommends. That way, you don't have to worry about dealing with it weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly.
Once the case is confirmed, you can pay electronically. While this is an easy way to do it, it is often easy to forget to pay that bill, which is why we always recommend having it taken out of a paycheck.
Does A Debtor Have To Appear In Court In A Chapter 13 Case?
Debtors in a Chapter 13 case, like in a Chapter 7 case, may not have to appear in court in person due to COVID-19. Creditor meetings, which used to be held in court, are now being conducted over the phone or through other virtual means.
However, Chapter 13 cases may require more court hearings than Chapter 7 cases, as issues such as non-payment or failure to make mortgage payments may need to be addressed. In such cases, the attorney may work out the issues ahead of time to minimize the need for the debtor to appear in court.
For more information on the Role Of An Attorney In A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (706) 940-0594 today.