After you have created your Chapter 13 plan, your bankruptcy might be on autopilot. You may simply need to make your regular payments to pay off your debts. However, depending on your bankruptcy plan, you might have obligations you need to meet. If this is the case, there are several things you might need to do.
Within 90 days of your first meeting with your creditors, the creditors will file claims so they may participate and receive a payment. If you agree with these claims, there are no actions you need to take. However, if you wish to dispute these claims, make sure to contact a chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer.
Discovering Claims That Don't Match
Creditor claims need to match your original bankruptcy schedule, as shown in your trustee reports. However, creditor claims sometimes don't match the schedule and you may need to increase your payments and make changes to bankruptcy documents. Make sure that an attorney or your bankruptcy trustee is informed of any discrepancies.
Being Contacted By Creditors
You may begin receiving messages and communications from creditors, which shouldn't be happening. Chapter 13 leads to an automatic stay where creditors are not allowed to contact you. Some creditors might not be familiar with the automatic stay and others may be willfully violating the stay. Your attorney will give your creditors bankruptcy information.
If the creditor continues to violate an automatic stay, he or she may be liable for damages. An automatic stay not only prevents a creditor from contacting you, but also prevents him or her from engaging in a lawsuit or wage garnishment. There are some actions the creditor can perform depending on the state you are in, so make sure to contact a chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer.
Responding to Court Filings
There are various bankruptcy court filings that creditors may issue. For example, a mortgage lender might file a motion for relief from stay and be able to resume creditor activities. A creditor may believe that you did not file all of the necessary papers and may seek to have your case dismissed. In some cases, the creditor might simply object to your plan. Regardless of the actions taken, you must respond to whatever changes are made to your bankruptcy.
Handling Unexpected Emergencies
Occasionally, events might occur that are beyond your control. For example, you may suffer a loss of income or an unavoidable increase in expenses. When this occurs, make sure to contact your attorney for how to get through this situation.
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