Common Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Questions and Answers for Columbus, Ohio

Below are answers to frequently asked questions about Chapter 13 Bankruptcy from some of our Columbus, Ohio Bankruptcy clients. If you have any questions not answered below, please call our Columbus, Ohio Bankruptcy Office for a free bankruptcy consultation.

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WHAT OTHER DEBTS HAVE TO BE PAID IN FULL UNDER CHAPTER 13?

Debts that must be payed in full include; Some taxes, some student loans, also child support/alimony, NSF checks, some cosigned debts, debts obtained under false pretenses, debts not listed, criminal debts, and personal injury or death caused by driving under the influence, mortgage arrearages and debts not initially listed.

CAN THE CREDITORS COLLECT FROM ME AFTER FILING BANKRUPTCY EVEN IF A LAWSUIT HAS BEEN FILED?

Creditors must cease all collection activity upon the filing of the case even if a judgement has been filed against you.

HOW DOES FILING CHAPTER 13 AFFECT MY CREDIT RATING?

The Chapter 13 will stay on your credit report up to ten (10) years. During that time, it may be difficult to obtain credit. Certain financial institutions offer secured credit card accounts. This may be an excellent way to re-establish your credit. The Financial management course that you attend upon completion of your case may assist you with future credit needs.

HOW LONG AFTER FILING DO I RECEIVE MY COURT NOTICE AND APPEAR AT THE HEARING?

You receive your hearing notice approximately two (2) weeks after the filing and the hearing date is usually set approximately four (4) weeks after the date of filing.

WHAT HAPPENS AT HEARING, AND WHAT DO I NEED TO TAKE TO THE HEARING?

In a Chapter 13 case there are two (2) hearings. The first hearing is before the Trustee who reviews paperwork initially filed. Creditors may question you regarding your debt and/or their collateral. If this is a joint case, both debtors must attend the hearing. You will need to make your first month’s plan payment prior to the first hearing and be prepared to discuss your income and expenses. The second hearing is also held before the Trustee for approval or “confirmation” of your case. In most instances, clients do not need to attend this hearing unless otherwise instructed by the attorney.

IF A CREDITOR CONTACTS ME AFTER FILING, WHAT DO I DO?

Refer all creditor calls to our office. Be sure to give them your attorney’s name, phone number, case number and date of filing, if available.

CAN WE ADD ADDITIONAL DEBTS AFTER THE CASE IS FILED?

Yes. For an additional charge, creditors can be added up until the time your case is discharged. The addition of debts may require modification to your Plan. Please refer to your fee agreement and/or contact your attorney.

WHEN AM I FULLY PROTECTED FROM CREDITORS?

You are not fully protected from any creditor or collection attempt until your case is filed with the Court and you receive a case number.

WHAT IF I CHANGE MY MAILING ADDRESS?

If you move at any time within the next year you must give us written notification of your new address and phone number.

CAN I OBTAIN CREDIT WHILE IN THE CHAPTER 13?

You must contact our office if you wish to incur debt during the pendency of your case. We must first file the proper papers with the court. It takes approximately thirty (30) days to receive court approval. You are responsible for obtaining the loan or financing for your new debt.

WHEN WILL MY PLAN PAYMENTS BE DEDUCTED FROM MY PAYCHECK?

The payments will start being withdrawn from your paycheck approximately three (3) months after filing the petition. Until that time, you are responsible for making the plan payments directly to the Trustee

HOW LONG WILL THE PLAN LAST?

In most cases, the plan lasts no less than three (3) years and no more than five (5) years. Each individual case is based on the types of assets and liabilities involved.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I CAN’T MAKE MY PLAN PAYMENTS DUE TO ILLNESS OR INJURY OR LOSS OF JOB?

Contact our office immediately to see if a suspension of payment or a modification to lower your plan payments is possible.

CAN I DROP OUT OF THE CHAPTER 13 PLAN?

Yes. We can file a motion to dismiss your case. However, please be advised that the creditors are free to resume collection activity once the case is dismissed.

WHAT DO I DO IF AN EMERGENCY ARISES AND I NEED A NEW FURNACE, ROOF, PAY MEDICAL BILLS, ETC.?

Please contact our office to see if we can suspend your plan payments to allow you the money needed for those unexpected expenses.

CAN CREDITORS CHARGE PENALTIES, INTEREST, AND LATE CHARGES AFTER CHAPTER 13 IS FILED?

Most penalties, interest, and late charges stop accruing at the time the petition is filed with the exception of creditors you pay directly.

CAN I KEEP MY HOME OR CAR?

Yes, even if you have fallen behind on your payments, you can keep your Home and your car if you file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. If the car is repossessed, and not yet sold at auction, the creditor is required to return the car back to you.You also will not be required to make a lump sum payment of your late payments. Even if a foreclosure on your home has been filed, you still have legal rights which will enable you to keep your home.

CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY OFFERS A FREE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT CLASS

When you file for chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you will get the chance to take a free financial management class. The course will teach you how to manage your finances better, so you avoid more issues in the future.

As you can see, Chapter 13 bankruptcy has a lot of benefits. If you are having debt issues, contact The Calig Law Firm about Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

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