Posted on Friday, September 26th, 2014 at 2:33 pm
Chapter 13 Bankruptcies last for 3-5 years in almost every case so it’s common for the debtor to want to check its status. Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often a straightforward affair. Most of the work is done on the front end, especially for the debtor. You gather your paperwork, let the lawyer generate the documents, show up to a few meetings and one court hearing, and then wait for the discharge in the mail. Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a much longer and more involved process. Debtors want a status on the bankruptcy during that time, to make sure the payments he or she is making are actually doing what they are supposed to do.
Call Your Attorney to Get an Update
If you want a status on your bankruptcy, don’t be afraid to call your attorney to get an update. Your attorney is paid to counsel you not just at the time of filing, but also throughout the bankruptcy. If you have questions or a problem with your Chapter 13, your attorney should be able to help you with that even if you filed the bankruptcy years ago.
Check Your Status Online!
You can also get a status on your bankruptcy online. Go to www.13datacenter.com and set up a free account as a Debtor. You will be asked some background questions to verify your identity, similar to the kinds of questions you are asked when you look up your credit report. Once your account is created, you can see all the payments you’ve made to the trustee and where those payments have gone.
Typically, you’ll see payments made in the following order…
- Fees your attorney did not charge up front (but which should be disclosed in the contract)
- Secured claims such as a car loan
- Any mortgage or tax arrearage
- Unsecured creditors such as credit cards.
As a rule, you should see car loans, taxes, and mortgage arrearages being paid in full, if you are near the end of your bankruptcy.
Call Your Attorney First Before Contacting the Chapter 13 Trustee Office
You can also get some information from the Chapter 13 trustee’s office, although calling the Chapter 13 trustee should be an option of last resort. Generally, if the Chapter 13 trustee has to step in and start answering questions about how the bankruptcy case is being handled, the attorney isn’t doing a very good job. Make sure you call your attorney first!
At Lawrence & Associates’ Kenton County office, we’ve helped hundreds of people get a fresh start from crushing debts. Our attorneys take care to communicate with each and every valued client so that there is no confusion as to how a bankruptcy will operate.
Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation