Chapter 13 Red Flags

Chapter 13 cases can be difficult to put together and if you or your attorney throw up any of the following red-flags, it will be much more difficult to get your case confirmed.

  1. Not making your pre-confirmation chapter 13 plan payments – nothing will get your case dismissed quicker than missing your payments. Your first payment is due 30 from the date you file your bankruptcy case. If at all possible, you should have the money automatically taken out of your paychecks. Your bankruptcy attorney can set this up for you.
  2. You have unusually high expenditures for specific budget items, especially for medical bills and charitable giving. Be prepared to prove what you spend for these categories or your plan payment will increase!
  3. You have unusually too low expenditures for specific monthly expenses – especially food. Occasionally a trustee will look at a budget and believe a chapter 13 plan is not feasible because you have an unreasonably low budget. Your strategy to overcome this b is to follow through with all of your other obligations and make your chapter 13 plan payments on time!
  4. You own businesses but don’t have adequate records of financial matters.
  5. You miss your 341 meeting of creditors. This should be obvious, but unless you have a VERY legitimate excuse, don’t miss the 341 meeting.
  6. Your bankruptcy schedules don’t get filed on time – occasionally, bankruptcy lawyers will file an emergency bankruptcy petition to help a client, even though the remainder of the petition is not complete. Bankruptcy attorneys hate filing these kinds of cases because it is notoriously difficult to get the necessary information to complete the filing within the two week deadline. Missing this deadline makes your case more difficult and can get it dismissed
  7. You file your case without a lawyer. I know this reason is self-serving, but it is very true. Chapter 13 cases can be tough to get confirmed (approved) by the most experienced lawyers. If you file a chapter 13 without a lawyer, you are likely in for a world of frustration.
  8. You hire a lawyer with little experience with chapter 13 bankruptcy cases – don’t let your bankruptcy lawyer learn at your expense.

by Rick Palmer

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