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In a Chapter 13 for 2 years now -- 100% payment plan. Have 3 years to go. Can I keep check to get car fixed from accident

Elkhart, IN |

Husband was in accident in January. Was other drivers fault. Got insurance Check from other drivers insurance company for the damages. Are we ok to take check and go get car fixed or do we have to turn over to the trustee?

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Attorney answers 3


You will probably be ok to use the funds to repair the car. However, you need to have your attorney check with Trustee Miller's office to be sure. Technically, these are assets of the estate. The Trustee may want your attorney to file a motion to use the proceeds formally with the court, or they may indicate that they have no objection to your use of the funds directly.

Better safe than sorry. Have your attorney check with the Trustee.

Attorney Jay Perez is a Managing Attorney with Macey Bankruptcy Law / Jacoby & Meyers-Bankruptcy, LLP, a national consumer bankruptcy law firm. His firm can be reached at 888-743-5787 or Attorney Perez manages offices in Indianapolis, Merrillville, South Bend, Elkhart, Fort Wayne, and Lafayette Indiana. Attorney Perez is licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of Indiana, Federal District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, and the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The private law firm of Macey Bankruptcy Law / Jacoby & Meyers-Bankruptcy, LLP is a debt relief agency helping people to file for bankruptcy relief under the bankruptcy code.



How long does this normally take to get an answer from the trustee? I sent information to my lawyer on May 13th. The check expires beginning of July... it is now June 4th. Have heard nothing from my attorney. I also have been waiting to hear something from my attorney on our tax returns as to whether or not we have to turn those over also or can keep since March 22nd..... no answer. I'm hearing nothing from my attorney. Do I call the trustee myself?

Juan Antonio Perez Jr.

Juan Antonio Perez Jr.


You definitely need to send in the RETURNS (the papers). You may or may not have to send part of the REFUND (the money). I would call your attorney's office again. Have you checked back in with them since you sent in the information? Debtors' attorneys are particularly swamped around tax season and they tend to have lots of clients with similar requests (regarding keeping their refunds). So if they submitted your request to the Trustee and have not heard back, it can easily fall to the back burner among the other client questions and issues that arise this time of year. I would recommend politely following up with the attorney's office regularly until you receive a response.



The tax papers were sent by our Lawyers accountant when she did our taxes. I have sent a couple e-mails to the lawyers assistant since the first request - but I've gotten no response.


I agree with Attorney Perez and since he practices where you live, he should know how this sort of issue is handled in your district.

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I agree that you can probably use the money. In effect there is no impact on the ch 13 plan, The payment equals the damages. But I also agree that it is always better to shine a light on the situation and be pro active with the trustee. The Trustee should give your lawyer some guidance on how to document the situation. Sometimes, just an explanatory letter from your lawyer is enough. If the Trustee is going to give you a problem, better to know it up front. Good Luck.

This response is intended to give a general overview of the law and should not be treated as legal advice. There are too many factual issues and exceptions in the law to provide definitive conclusions about your circumstances.

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