When you meet with your Grayslake bankruptcy attorney, you want to bring specific information regarding your income and your expenses. The Chapter 13 plan payment, or the amount that you as the client are going to be paying to the Chapter 13 trustee each month, is determined by a number of factors. The main factor, which it all starts with, is your income. We need to know how much you’re bringing in from all sources, so whether it be from a job, unemployment, workers compensation, Social Security, rental income, or any other income – part-time job, whatever – we need to know what that is. Secondly, we need to look at your regular expenses per month, which includes your mortgage, your utilities, your taxes, your car payment, your cable TV, food, clothing; and it’s from that number that we’re going to determine what if anything you have available that you can pay to the court each month. If the amount that you have available to pay to the court each month is going to be sufficient to pay either all or a portion of your debt over a three-to-five-year period, then bankruptcy Chapter 13 could be very successful for you.
As long as that Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is filed before a sheriff’s sale takes place, you have filed with enough time to save your home. If, however, you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case after your house has already gone to a sheriff’s sale, then you are too late to save the house through a Chapter 13, although you can do a Chapter 13 on all of your other debt at that time.
Many people like to put the regular mortgage payment inside the Chapter 13 plan payment. I do not like to do this because it increases the interest rate that a homeowner has to pay on his mortgage. I prefer to allow the homeowner to make the regular mortgage payment, post-petition, going forward, separate from the Chapter 13 plan payment. The only thing that I believe that should be part of the Chapter 13 plan payments with regard to mortgages is the arrearage portion. Not every Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer agrees with this. I say just let the homeowner make the regular mortgage payment again on their own, and let the trustee pay the arrearage portion over the next three to five years. The goal is at the end of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, the homeowner will have reinstated the mortgage, and they will only have the regular mortgage payment going forward.
For help with your particular situation, contact a bankruptcy lawyer who handles Chapter 13 cases in your local area.