Final Review Of Your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Petition

Before your bankruptcy attorney pulls the trigger on an actual filing, you should undergo a thorough final review of your petition. You may discover that your monthly plan payment can change based upon your current circumstances. You may have assets that have shifted or otherwise transferred in the ordinary course of business. You also may have additional creditors which must be added to your bankruptcy case prior to actual filing. For these reasons and more, you should sit down with your attorney to conduct a final review prior to filing your case.

Recent Example

In a recent example, a woman came to the office who was in the process of filing. She had already completed the credit counseling which is required prior to any case being filed. She had also submitted three years’ worth of federal tax returns. She also had submitted nearly all of her recent paycheck stubs. What we discovered when she came in is that she was no longer working at the current employer listed on her petition. She provided information about her new employer as well as a new pay rate which had been downgraded. By having less income, I was able to review the petition and have her pay less per month to the chapter 13 trustee.

Missing Items

We also realized that she was missing her most recent federal tax return. She had 2013, 2012, and 2011, however, she was missing 2014. She was under the impression that she will not have to provide that tax return year. I simply advised her that she was mistaken and she is going to look for that return immediately. She also was missing her first plan payment which was required in her particular case. She is going to supply a money order or cashier’s check in the amount of $450 payable to the chapter 13 trustee. This trustee payment will be submitted immediately upon the filing of a chapter 13 case.

Final Review of Petition

We also reviewed the remaining portion of her bankruptcy petition and schedules to make sure that the information was still true and accurate. For example, she still maintained the paid off vehicle. She still had the same banking information. She still had the same creditors with no additions or corrections to be made. By undergoing this final review, we both feel confident that all the information is true and accurate and that she’s going to have the best shot at a successful chapter 13. The most important change was the change in plan payment due to her income being lower than originally scheduled. In some cases, the plan payment needs to be moved upward based on an increase in income. The chapter 13 trustee is going to review all of the detailed information so you might as well have it right from the outset. There is nothing worse than proposing a particular plan payment only to have it be way off in terms of dollar amount.

For more information on chapter 13 and your rights under the United States Bankruptcy Code, you can contact my office at 847-520-8100. Either myself or one of my experienced associates will review your paperwork, advise you of your rights and put forth a plan to help you either get out of debt or reorganize your debt under chapter 13.

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