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What Can You Do if You Cannot Keep Up With Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plan Payments?

If you filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy but are struggling to keep up with the payments outlined in your debt repayment plan, you may not know what you can do to resolve the issue. Fortunately, there are several options available for those who cannot make their Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan payments that can help ease the burden of your debt.

Consider speaking with a Bay Area Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney at the Law Offices of Melanie Tavare to discuss what options are available to you if you struggle with making Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan payments.

Five Options if You Cannot Make Your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plan Payments

Let’s review what options might be available to you if you cannot make payments under your Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan:

  1. Defer the Payment

If you find yourself unable to make a payment due to an emergency situation or financial hardship, it may be possible to defer your payment until a future date. It is important to note that interest will still accrue on any deferred payments, so it is important to pay them off as soon as possible.

  1. Temporarily Suspend Your Plan Payments

In some cases, it may be beneficial to temporarily suspend your plan payments if you are facing severe hardship and cannot afford them. This option allows you time to get back on your feet before resuming your repayment plan. The amount of time allowed for suspension varies depending on individual circumstances, and court approval is required before suspending payments. 

  1. Request a Hardship Discharge

If you are still unable to make payments after attempting other options, such as deferring or suspending them, it may be possible to request a hardship discharge from the court. In order for this option to be approved, you must demonstrate that continuing with the repayment plan would cause extreme difficulty or undue harm.

Under 11 U.S.C. § 1328(b), requesting a hardship discharge is possible when the debtor can prove that their failure to make a payment is due to reasons for which they cannot justly be held accountable.

This can be done by showing evidence of income and expenses that prove that paying back creditors according to the original terms of the repayment plan would place an unmanageable burden on yourself or family members living in the same household with you.

  1. Convert to Chapter 7 

In some cases, converting from Chapter 13 bankruptcy to Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be beneficial if making your repayment plan payments becomes too difficult or impossible due to financial hardship or other factors beyond your control.

This option involves liquidating assets in order for creditors to receive part of what is owed while remaining unsecured debts are discharged entirely after all assets have been sold off and the proceeds distributed accordingly among creditors receiving payment in full or partial amounts depending on how much money was raised through asset liquidation proceedings.

  1. Dismiss Your Bankruptcy Case and Then Refile

Another potential solution when experiencing difficulty paying back creditors according to court-mandated terms outlined in a current Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan is dismissing the existing case and then refiling at a later date when more financially capable of doing so. However, this might seem like an extreme option, which is why it should only be used as a last resort.

Explore Your Options with a Bankruptcy Attorney

If you cannot keep up with your Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan payments, contact our knowledgeable attorney at the Law Offices of Melanie Tavare to discuss your options. Attorney Melanie Tavare will review the circumstances of your case and advise on how to best proceed in your situation. Call 510-255-4646 to receive a free consultation. 

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