Legal Question in Bankruptcy in Virginia

What happens if you miss a chapter 13 bankruptcy payment after being consistent

I have been paying my chapter 13 bankruptcy payments over one year and never missed a payment. I can not make a payment this month and would like to know my consequences.

Asked on 8/24/01, 4:06 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Glenn R. Tankersley Regency Legal Clinic

Re: What happens if you miss a chapter 13 bankruptcy payment after being consist

You did not indicate whether you have an attorney in the Chapter 13 or if you filed pro se (without counsel).

If you have an attorney, you should always contact him or her immediately anytime you are going to be late or not going to be able to make a payment. The court can, for good cause shown, suspend payments, generally up to three of them.

If you do not have an attorney, you should contact the trustee's office and explain to them the reasons for the failure to pay. The consequences will depend on how tolerant (or intolerant) the trustee is. At some point the trustee may file a motion to dismiss based upon failure to pay. You will be given notice of a court date on which the bankruptcy judge will decide whether to dismiss or give you terms upon which to catch up the missed payment.

Generally, judges are very tolerant of debtors who convince the court they are making a genuine, good faith effort to comply with the plan. The judge, or the trustee before filing a motion to dismiss, will put you on certain terms to get the plan payments current.

Keeping silent and hoping the problem will go away is the worst thing you could do. Trustees don't just ignore these failures on the part of the debtor. You have to confront the problem immediately and propose a solution to it. Immediately, if not sooner.

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Answered on 9/08/01, 8:28 pm

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