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Trying to get my Discharge Papers, with some complications.....questions about it

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  • Trying to get my Discharge Papers, with some complications.....questions about it

    Hi, I filed a joint Chapter 13 bankruptcy in late 2012 with my now ex-wife. The only plan payments were for an auto loan for her car, and to pay the home equity loan on the house. We separated in mid 2015, and our bankruptcy lawyer withdrew from the case when she learned of this. We have been without a lawyer on this issue ever since. In early 2016, the home equity loan went into a principal and interest payment period (before it was only interest), and we successfully worked with the bankruptcy court to have the higher payments withheld on my check, despite me not being in the house. This past summer, the Chapter 13 office let us know that the payments we had been making were insufficient to pay off the balance due at bankruptcy end scheduled for November 2017. Since my ex and I were almost divorced at that point, and had agreed she was getting the house, she took on the further increased payments from her paycheck, and the Chapter 13 office said the bankruptcy would be extended and scheduled to complete in March 2018.

    Well, a few weeks ago, she totaled the car in an accident, no injuries. She told me the insurance company payment was being seized by the Chapter 13 office, and that it was going to completely pay off the balance due with the Chapter 13 office now. My concern is this. What do I have to do, to ensure that I get my discharge papers, since neither one of us has a bankruptcy lawyer. According to her, the bankruptcy is going into some kind of audit period, and that discharge papers will be granted some time after that. I want to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.

    We should have split the bankruptcy earlier, to avoid this complication. But the Chapter 13 office did get a copy of our divorce agreement, which stipulates that she refinance the house within 30 days of getting the discharge papers. So they should be aware. Should I just contact the office directly and ask questions. In the past, they have been very reluctant to answer questions, and tell me I need to get a lawyer. I will get a lawyer if I have to, I have made some calls, but they seem reluctant to take such a "small job". But if I can avoid getting a lawyer if I don't have to, that would be better. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    This is too complex to address as an online post. I'll make some comments, but you really need an attorney to close out your Chapter 13 and to deal with other things related to obtaining the Chapter 13 discharge. Additionally, the Trustee office is not going to speak to you about "legal" matters and will refer you bank to an attorney (or your Chapter 13 attorney). This is probably as complex as it gets. A Chapter 13 that is trying to discharge, a major accident, totaled property (assuming it was part of the Chapter 13 Plan), an intervening divorce, refinancing of a home, and a missing attorney.

    I wish you the best and would really love to hear how this works out. My heart goes out to you and your ex-spouse as she seems to be really nice (not vindictive).

    Where is your Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney?
    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


    I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

    Comment


    • #3
      While on the surface, the completing Chapter 13 sounds complex, I just got in the mail the motion to use the insurance company settlement to pay off the small balance left on the vehicle ($400), with the balance proposed to pay off the Debtors' plan, and completion of the case. If no objections by early January, that's what will happen. The refinancing of the home is outside of the BK, part of the divorce settlement to occur afterwards.

      The bankruptcy is in NC. Oh, and by the way, the ex-wife is not so very nice. On this issue, where it serves both our interests to conclude the bankruptcy successfully, she is cooperative. But the divorce agreement, I basically got the short end of the stick, financially. But I did get peace of mind, which has enormous value.

      I had spoken to one lawyer who said I should not need a lawyer. Not sure if he is blowing me off, being too busy, perhaps. I will be getting another opinion. I am going to visit the Chapter 13 office, probably today, to speak to someone there to get clarity on what is left to do to successfully complete it. While they should not be giving legal advice, they should be telling me basic steps of completing the plan, because that's their purpose, in my mind, to get people through bankruptcy successfully. We shall see.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think the attorney that you spoke to is blowing you off. Where if your Chapter 13 attorney??? That is who you would go to first. I would not personally risk messing up the Chapter 13 discharge especially since you may be over the allowed 60 months.

        The purpose of the Trustee is not to give you instructions on how to manage a Chapter 13 -- or any bankruptcy. That process is actually dictated by the Court and you could call the Clerk of the Court and ask "procedural" questions. The Trustee doesn't want to get involved with represented debtors (do you have an attorney-of-record?) and does not want to cross the line when it comes to procedure versus the practice of law.

        If you want to know the process, first check your Districts web site to see if the procedure is published. Some spell it out, down to the necessary certifications that need to be made as well as a motion for entry of discharge (if required). Other districts may not have the process published and you should contact the Clerk of the Court. The Trustee doesn't issue the discharge. The discharge in a Chapter 13 has an orchestrated process. Here are a few things ordinarily required to receive a discharge in a Chapter 13; certification of domestic support obligations, Form B23 certification of completion of financial management course, any other district specific certification, Trustee's notification of plan completion, etc. I'm just thinking off the top of my head as to what I remember, but Chapter 13 is a complicated proces.

        Here's a link to the procedures from one of the Districts (your District may have district-specific items or some things may be done by the Clerk and some done by the Trustee, with most things done by the attorney-of-record):

        http://www.laeb.uscourts.gov/sites/l...ACh13Cases.pdf

        Please remember that there can be, and likely are, District-specific things and it is likely that only the Clerk's office can help you with this "procedural" question. I recommend that you reach back to your Chapter 13 Attorney of Record.
        Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
        Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
        Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


        I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

        Comment

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