In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, some of your debts must be paid through a Chapter 13 Plan. This plan lasts up to 5 years. A part of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that all of your monthly disposable income is committed to your unsecured creditors. Without proper budgeting, this may not leave money for unexpected expenses, like your car breaking down, unexpected medical bills, or needing to fly to California last-minute for a funeral. It is not uncommon for debtors to fall behind on their Plan payments on occasion. So what happens if you do?
If payments are a month or more behind, the Trustee will typically file a Motion to Dismiss your case for Failure to Make Plan Payments. If this is your first time missing a payment, the Court will enter an order giving you a specific amount of time to make up your payments, usually 60 or 90 days. The Order will state the date by which you need to be current.
One great way to make sure and not get behind on your payments is to have the money taken directly from your paycheck and given to the trustee. In the Jacksonville, Florida Middle District, we can have a judge sign an order for direct withdraw of those funds. This makes it much more difficult for debtors to get behind.
Another thing you should do is to keep track of your payment online. The Jacksonville, Florida Chapter 13 trustee has a website where you can see if your payment has been received, which creditors are getting money, if you are delinquent and by how much.
If you are thinking of filing for bankruptcy contact a Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney today at 904-685-1200.