There are reasons why a lot of attorneys who handle bankruptcy cases simply won’t handle a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case and why this Darien bankruptcy attorney will. There simply is too much math, there’s too much difficulty, there’s too much court action, there’s too much litigation, and too much paperwork. Many bankruptcy attorneys would rather do a simple Chapter 7 case, charge a nominal fee, file a petition, appear at a 341 meeting of creditors, and call it a day. Chapter 13 is a different type of animal because you are involved for a three-to-five-year period and you have significant paperwork and significant math to deal with. If you are someone who wants to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, I strongly suggest that you hire an experienced attorney who can show you and communicate with you and make you feel comfortable with the Chapter 13 process.
Chapter 13 can be very difficult on debtors and attorneys. Attorneys have the responsibility of communicating and explaining in detail how the Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is going to work. Many clients have questions and concerns because they have never been through this process, they don’t know how it works, they’re concerned whether or not they’re going to be able to repay their debt over time, and whether the court is going to accept their payment plan. Clients are also worried about creditors. They want to know that the creditor is going to start taking their regular mortgage payment again. They want to know that their car is not going to get repossessed after they claim bankruptcy and stop making their car payment directly. They want to make sure that they’re not going to get fired from their job because the job receives a court order to deduct a certain amount and pay it to the trustee each pay period. So clients have a lot of concerns going forward in a Chapter 13, and debtors’ attorneys need to be aware of that and need to take care of those fears. A good Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney is going to be organized, detailed, concerned, caring, and professional.
Sometimes during the course of the Chapter 13 case, a client will receive a trustee’s motion to dismiss. A trustee’s motion to dismiss is a motion filed by the trustee in the bankruptcy case alleging that the debtor has fallen behind on Chapter 13 trustee payments. This is very common in the bankruptcy process. The motion is filed by the trustee, and it is set out on notice by the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court before a certain judge on a certain date and a certain time. On that court date, if the debtor can become current with the trustee, then the trustee will withdraw the motion and the case will continue forward just as if the motion was never brought. In other cases, the debtor has a partial payment to cure the default, and the trustee may agree to put the motion over for a two-to-four-week period to give the debtor time to get current. In other situations, the debtor has no money to tender to the trustee, and the case is dismissed in its face in open court. In these cases, the Chicago bankruptcy lawyer for the debtor must explain to the debtor the different scenarios that can happen here.