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What If I Fall Behind In My Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Payments?

Author : Jim Brown

If you've dealt with the crushing stress and tolls on relationships that comes from being in extreme debt, I'm sure you're fed up with it.

And if you've found a good St. Louis bankruptcy attorney who has helped you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, I'm sure you're starting to feel some sense of relief. After all, you've saved your property, gotten protection from harrassing creditors, and started to repay your debts.

But it isn't always that easy. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. There have been a couple cases where clients just encounter more hardship after filing. Whether a change in income, medical emergency, or just plain old hard times, some people find themselves unable to make their payments in a Chapter 13 plan.

An experienced St. Louis bankruptcy attorney will always review your original plan with you before submitting it to the courts in order to make sure that you'll be able to handle it. But like we all know too well, circumstances change.

If you find that you can't make your Chapter 13 payments for any reason, be sure to contact your bankruptcy attorney immediately. You may still have options. For example, you may qualify for modification of your Chapter 13 payment plan, or for a conversion.

While making changes to your plan or deciding to forfeit some property may not sound appealing, think of the alternatives. If you get behind on your plan and the bankruptcy trustee files a motion to dismiss, where does that leave you? Right back where you started. If your bankruptcy case is dismissed, you won't receive your discharge, and every one of your creditors can come after you for the full amount of the debt owed. Not only that, but it will be several years before you can try filing for bankruptcy protection again.

The moral of the story? Get in touch with your attorney as soon as you find yourself in trouble. Don't forget, Chapter 13 repayment plans range from three to five years in length. When you hire your bankruptcy attorney, they know their job is to be with you until your case is finished—and the case isn't finished until the fat lady sings. Just kidding, unless your judge happens to be a large woman. Your case is over when the judge says it is (either by granting you your discharge or dismissing your case for missed payments). So if you are having trouble with your payment plan, you shouldn't hesitate to contact your attorney—after all, this is why you hired them in the first place.

Author's Resource Box

James Brown is a personal bankruptcy attorney in St. Louis, Missouri. He has
filed over 30,000 bankruptcy cases and published many books and articles. You
can request his free Missouri and Illinois bankruptcy guide for the best tips on how to prepare for your bankruptcy
and find a great bankruptcy attorney.

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Tags:   Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Illinois bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Missouri bankruptcy, Chapter 13 St Louis bankruptcy, St Louis bankruptcy attorney

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Submitted : 2011-01-18    Word Count : 1    Times Viewed: 166