Once someone is in a Chapter 13 and everything is going smoothly, I, as the LaGrangePark bankruptcy attorney, don’t really hear from them. It is only when they fall behind that either the trustee or the mortgage company or the finance company will contact you as the debtor by a motion before the court. Now, the motion that they set up to either throw the case out of bankruptcy or at least have himself removed from bankruptcy so they can proceed against the collateral is set out on notice. Now, what I mean by notice is they have to file something with the court through the US bankruptcy court. They must set it before the judge on a particular day and they must send notice of all of this to the debtor and to the debtor’s bankruptcy lawyer.
We usually have a short period of time, anywhere from 3 to 15 days from which to react to that motion and get prepared. Very often the matter is not resolved on the first time that it goes before the judge. We can typically ask for a continuance if we have a partial payment or the matter could be put over for some sort of calculation. One example would be if the debtor believes that he has made several mortgage payments post-petition that the mortgage company is not giving him credit for. We would then ask for an accounting so that the mortgage company will show exactly what they have proof of receiving and for what months my client is missing payments. I will then show that summary to my client. He can bring in proof of payment and we can do kind of a 4n six accounting deal where we realize who is telling the truth, who is not telling the truth, what payments might be floating out there, what payments haven’t been credited properly and we can try to bring this to a resolution. In most Chicago bankruptcy cases, the matter will come to a resolution without the need to go to a full hearing before the judge.
If you are thinking that you should file bankruptcy yourself, the above example should convince you otherwise. There are simply too many difficult procedures and events that can occur within a bankruptcy case. Further, the court will expect you to know the system as well as an experienced bankruptcy attorney. The court will not grant you much in the way of assistance and the court is prohibited from offering you any legal advice.