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If you file a St Louis Chapter 13, but you end up in a position where you can no longer make your regular monthly payments to the Bankruptcy Trustee, then there are a couple of different options. But those options may or may not apply to the facts of your case. Below is a brief description:
To begin with, a Chapter 13 is described as a repayment plan over the course of three (3) to five (5) years during which you pay back certain debts (most notably, mortgage arrearage, car notes, back taxes, back child support, and sometimes a portion of your unsecured debt). There is a monthly payment that must be made, and if you fall behind by two or more payments, the Trustee will file a Motion to Dismiss your case. And if you do not get caught up, the court will grant the motion, and your case will be dismissed.
But instead of allowing your case to get dismissed in this way, you might be able to convert your case to a St Louis Chapter 7. A Chapter 7 is a simple discharge of unsecured debt (such as credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, etc.). But a Ch7 is also a situation in which your assets might be liquidated (like your car or house or bank account or tax refund). If you qualify for a conversion, that usually means that you could have done a Ch7 at the time you filed your Chapter 13.
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On the other hand, if you fall behind on your Ch13 payments, the court will usually allow you to get caught up. And if you show a good faith effort in getting caught up, then the judge will often work with you. But unless you can come up with sizable amounts each month to come current, then your case could get dismissed.
Many people will fall behind on their payments because of a job loss (or a reduction of hours at work). Other common situations involve unexpected medical expenses or car repairs. But even if you fall behind, the best thing to do is contact your St Louis bankruptcy lawyer immediately. That way you can work out a strategy to either get caught up, convert your case, or in sometimes refile another Ch13.
The affordable St. Louis bankruptcy attorneys at The Law Office of Jennifer Alter-Rieken have been saving and protecting people’s assets for years. Our goal is to make sure that you keep the assets and property you want, discharge the debts that you want to get rid of, and do it all at an affordable cost to you. All phone conversations and office consultations are free of charge.